Every year, thousands of Australians are affected by fraud. Due to its hidden nature, it can be difficult to know just how big a problem it is, but the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission estimates that it cost Australians over $140 million in 2019, while the Institute of Criminology estimated that 1 in 4 Australians will be a victim of identity crime at some point in their lives.

Frauds and scams are wide-spread, which means we all need to be careful. Even the most cautious people can become victims as scammers use increasingly sophisticated methods to try to deceive us.

While we mainly think of fraud as resulting in a financial loss, it can also have a significant emotional impact on the victim. Many victims are reluctant to report fraud as they’re concerned that their family or the police may think less of them. However, Victims of fraud are encouraged to report the incident to ensure that those responsible can be prosecuted and reduce the chances that others are taken advantage of.


Why older Australians could be more at risk

While scams can target anyone, older Australians can often be the focus of fraudsters’ attention.

There are several reasons for this:

  • They are more likely to own their homes and have retirement savings.
  • They may be less familiar with technology which could cause difficulties in being able to differentiate fraudulent communications from legitimate messages.
  • They may live alone and be more likely to respond to messages.
  • They may have fewer interactions with others, meaning that they have fewer opportunities to discuss potential scam messages with other people.


How to support someone who has been a victim of fraud

Scammers are experts in emotionally manipulating their victims. Those being scammed may not realise until it is too late, or be in denial that they are being taken advantage of.

If you suspect a loved one has been targeted by a scammer, you can help by discussing the situation with them. If you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, it’s crucial to report the incident immediately.

It’s not uncommon for people who have been scammed to be reluctant to talk about it. In those cases, it may be helpful to help them find a local support group where they can share their feelings with others in the same situation.


If you have been targeted by a scam relating to your Qudos account, visit our webpage Reporting Scams to find out who to contact.

Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305. The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.

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