As reported by our colleagues at Finance Feeds, the latest statistics from Australia’s Scamwatch, the body operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), reveals that Australians reported more than $61.6 million AUD in losses due to fraudulent investment schemes for 2019. This marks a steep rise from a year earlier, when Australians reported $38.8 million AUD in such losses.

In our mind this is a staggering amount considering the islands population and geographic location. We are familiar with traders in Europe and Asia being scammed by various offers on social media and websites, but the australian market looks to be one of the hardest hit in 2019, perhaps not too far behind Europe and the United Kingdom.

During 2019, Australians submitted 4,986 reports about investment scams at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The month with the biggest losses in 2019 was July, followed by August and December. The number of reports for the entire 2019 was 4,986, with those from 25 to 34 years of age being most active in complaining about investment fraud.

Scamwatch warns that scammers are pretending to be legitimate well-known charities, creating their own charity names, and impersonating people negatively impacted by the bushfires. They are cold-calling, direct messaging and creating fake websites and pages on social media to raise funds.

The public is advised not to donate via fundraising pages on platforms that do not verify the legitimacy of the fundraiser or that do not guarantee your money will be returned if the page is determined to be fraudulent.