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2012 Scam Survey now online

Media Release

16 January 2012

Have you been the victim of an online scam or noticed any new or persistent scams over the last year?

The Australasian Consumer Fraud Task Force (ACFT) and the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) are gathering the most up-to-date information on fraud and scam trends in Australia through their annual online survey, AIC Principal Criminologist, Dr Russell Smith said today.

“We are seeking as much consumer fraud information as possible, whether it’s about  fraudsters ringing from an overseas call centre trying to con money from householders, or email advance fee fraud scams, and even fraudulent requests for money by traditional post.

“If you have come in contact with such a consumer scam, or know someone else who has, please take the opportunity to fill in our short, confidential survey at http://aic.gov.au/crime_community/surveys/acft.aspx ,” Dr Smith said.

Last year’s survey showed:

  • a sharp increase in people experiencing approaches by scammers
  • and an increase in the use of landline phones (from overseas call centres) and SMS to try and scam victims.

"The key to fighting scams is by providing consumers with information about how to recognise and avoid scams.

“This survey will increase our knowledge of how scams work and help us more effectively warn consumers," Dr Michael Schaper, Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Chair of the ACFT said.

“The Taskforce would like to know about any scams that you have received and how you have responded to them.”

Participation in this important annual survey is entirely voluntary. If you choose to complete the survey, it should only take you a few minutes.

All responses to the online survey will remain anonymous. This survey will be online for three months and your individual response will not be disclosed to any third parties and will only be used for statistical analysis. The AIC will release aggregated survey results later in the year.

This survey will give Australian law enforcement agencies a detailed understanding of the experiences of individual victims and what steps can be taken in the future to reduce scams activity. Consumers are also encouraged to report scams activity to the ACCC via its SCAMwatch website, with information provided playing a key role in alerting enforcement agencies to current scams.

The Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce was formed in March 2005 and comprises of 22 government regulatory agencies and departments in Australia and New Zealand with responsibility for protecting consumers against frauds and scams. The aim of the Taskforce is to work together to reduce the incidence and impact of frauds and scams, and to create a yearly coordinated information campaign for consumers timed to coincide with global consumer fraud prevention activities during the week commencing 19 March 2012.

For more information about scams including how to protect yourself and report a scam, contact the ACCC’s SCAMwatch hotline on 1300 795 995 (for TTY service call 1300 303 609) or visit www.scamwatch.gov.au

Media enquiries:
AIC – Colin Campbell: 0418 159 525
ACCC - Mr Duncan Harrod, media unit: (02) 6243 1108 or 0408 995 408
Infocentre: 1300 302 502