If you have received more than the usual amount of suspicious calls or text messages this year, you’re not alone.

Phone-based scams are “exploding” and costing vulnerable Australians millions of dollars each year, according to new data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

In 2021, phone scams have also led to a sharp increase in financial losses for Indigenous Australians.

How much money are Australians losing to phone scams?

Australians have lost $63.6 million to scams involving unsolicited calls or text messages so far this year, according to the ACCC’s Scamwatch program.

That’s 30 per cent of the $211 million Australians have lost to all scams so far in 2021, compared with phone scams making up 27 per cent ($48.2 million) of all losses last year and 23 per cent ($32.4 million) in 2019.

Of the more than 213,000 reports received by the Scamwatch website so far this year, more than half have been phone-related.

When you include all other kinds of scams, there has been an 89 per cent increase in scams compared with the same period last year and we’ve long-surpassed the $175.6 million in losses reported for the entirety of 2020.

We’re losing more money on average

Financial losses from phishing schemes that trick people into…

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