Australians lost almost $230 million to scams last year, and a new Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) report has found that your age is a strong indicator of what type of scam you’re most likely to fall for.
The study – The Relationship between age and consumer fraud victimisation – found that respondents aged 65 years and over were significantly more likely to send money as a result of a fraudulent invitation than other age groups. They were also more likely than other age groups to be the victim of a computer support scam.
In contrast, respondents aged between 18 and 24 years were more likely to provide personal details in response to a fraudulent invitation than other age categories.
For individuals aged between 45 and 54 years, their highest risk of falling victim to consumer fraud was through dating and romance fraud.
The survey also found a relationship between age and how fraudulent invitations were delivered, with younger people more likely to be approached online or via sms.
Types of personal fraud
The types of fraud covered by the survey included:
Lottery fraud: fraud involving false notification of a prize or competition win.
Advance fee fraud: fraud where fraudsters seek assistance to transfer a large amount of money overseas.
Inheritance fraud: fraud that falsely notifies the recipient of the death of a distant relative who has left the potential victim a large inheritance.
Phishing: an attempt to trick people into giving out their personal details or banking information.
Financial advice fraud: fraud involving the provision of financial advice which generally does not involve a legitimate investment or lead to increased wealth.
Work-from-home invitations: fraud involving false offers of employment. Work-from-home scams are often fronts for illegal money-laundering activities or pyramid schemes.
Computer support fraud: fraud involving contact by fraudsters who claim to be representatives of legitimate businesses, who can fix problems with the recipients’ computer. Fraudsters may ask for money, personal details or passwords, or seek to sell worthless products to fix computers.
Dating/romance fraud: these schemes may demand payment for each email sent and received by the victim. Alternatively, romance scammers may ‘hook’ victims by asking for money for an unwell relative or to help them with financial trouble
— AGD AU (@agdgovau) November 7, 2016