Older Australians are increasingly being targeted by scammers. People over 55 lost more than $39 million nationally last year, an increase of more than $13 million from 2016, according to data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ScamWatch service.
A new campaign from Consumer Affairs Victoria, in partnership with Crime Stoppers Victoria, is giving tips and advice to older Victorians, to help them avoid falling for scams.
Victorians made more than 33,000 scam reports in 2017, with reported losses of $22.9 million – a jump of more than $4 million on the previous year.
Scammers are most commonly reaching victims over the phone and online: phone, email, social networking and internet scams accounted for 85 per cent of losses across Australia, from more than 130,000 reports.
Consumer Affairs Victoria will be delivering education sessions at libraries across the state, focusing on helping older Victorians become more scam savvy.
The sessions will give increasingly tech-adopting older Victorians the tools to avoid scams while online, as that platform becomes the most common for opportunistic scammers.
Victorians aged over 60 are the fastest-growing online user group in the country – so educating this demographic about how to protect personal information online from scammers is all the more important.
If you are an older Victorian, you can enhance your scam-avoiding skills by taking the quiz at our Scam savvy page, where you will also find useful information about how to identify and avoid online scams, and hear powerful stories from victims.
To report a scam, complete our online Report a scam form or call us on 1300 55 81 81.