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Business scammers net $4.7m in 2017

Thursday, 24 May 2018
By Print 21 Online Article

Scammers swindled nearly $4.7 million from Australian businesses in 2017 according to the ACCC’s latest Targeting scams report – a 23 per cent increase compared to 2016.

Small businesses with fewer than 20 staff were most likely to be targeted and accounted for more than 50 percent of cases reported to the ACCC. Businesses were most likely to be targeted with false billing scams (1323 reports), while employment and investment scams caused the most losses at nearly $1.7 million.

‘Dramatic jump in losses’: Michael Schaper, deputy chair ACCC.

“We’ve seen a worrying and dramatic jump in losses reported to us about these two scams,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper. “False billing scams are where a scammer tries to trick a business into paying fake invoices for directory listings, advertising, domain name renewals or office supplies. The scammers are very aggressive and persistent in demanding payment.”

The ACCC’s Scamwatch service received a total of 5432 reports from businesses about scams in 2017. Businesses that fell victim to scammers lost an average of $11,000.

“Scammers don’t discriminate and businesses have what scammers want: money. They’ll use a variety of cons to swindle busy workers and it can be very devastating to a business’s bottom line,” Schaper said.

“With employment and investment scams, scammers offer services commonly used by businesses such as web page development, search engine optimisation, small business loans and business directory listings. The business signs up to what seems like a good deal but quickly discover they receive no service and that the offer was not legitimate.”

Australian businesses are encouraged to visit  to learn more about scams targeting them.

Example of a fake bill used to trick businesses.



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