19 Sep 2018

Three-quarters of scam victims 55 and over

11:22 am on 19 September 2018

New government figures show three-quarters of the amount lost by people to scammers in the last three months, was lost by people aged 55 and older.

Credit cards for payment.

The data showed there were 455 reports of phishing. Photo: 123RF

The National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) released its quarterly report today breaking down incidents it has received relating to scams and online fraud.

Based on reports where people had identified their age, $256,000 out of $340,000 was lost by people aged over 55.

The total amount lost by individual victims was $699,000.

"The losses for those aged 55 and over represents 75 percent of the value of direct losses reported by individuals. This is consistent with the trend seen in quarter one of 2018," the report said.

From April to June the department received 736 reports - 45 percent more than the previous quarter.

However, while the number of reports had gone up, the total amount being lost to scammers had gone down.

The amount lost to businesses and individuals was $2.2 million - down from $2.9 million at the start of the year.

Phishing accounted for 455 of the reports, where a scammer tries to persuade the victim to digitally give them personal information - usually under the rouse of being a reputable organisation.

"We continue to see phishing emails pretending to be Office 365 documents and emails offering fake tax refunds."

The report showed most victims lost less than $500.

Four victims lost $100,000 dollars or more, making up 77 percent of the total amount.

Total financial losses spiked in the last three months of 2017 at $3.4 million and have been declining since.

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