Scammers target younger victims

Scammers target younger victims

Younger people are falling victim to scams as the technology behind them becomes more elaborate, BDO’s Australian Scam Culture Report for the December 2023 quarter has revealed.

BDO National Forensic Services Leader Michael Cassidy said that while the over 65 age group remained the primary target group, scams were continually evolving and becoming more sophisticated.

“The over 65 age group remained the primary target group for scam activity at 26 per cent, but interestingly, we also observed an increase of five per cent in scams reported by the 35-44 age group,” Mr Cassidy said.

“This may be because scam activity is becoming more elaborate. Activity across the dark web continues to play a significant role in the global landscape of cybercrime and scams. 

“We have seen a substantial increase in the cost of some of the stolen credentials, financial information, and personal identification details available for sale on the dark web, all of which is frequently utilised within scam activity.”

While the technology used to undertake scams continued to evolve, traditional methods such as text messages and emails remained the primary conduits for the distribution of fraudulent schemes throughout the 2023 calendar year. 

Despite this, the number of reported scams declined in the final quarter of 2023, which Mr Cassidy attributed to high profile media coverage and government intervention.

“Significantly, we saw a 24 per cent decline in total dollars lost to scams during the December 2023 quarter compared to the previous quarter. 

This was coupled with a 14 per cent decline in the average number of reported incidents, even amidst the typically heightened scam activity observed during the festive season,” he said.

“Proactive initiatives such as those led by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the National Anti-Scams Centre (NASC), together with high profile media coverage of cyber breaches and scams are likely contributing to an overall increase in public awareness of scams and strategies for self-protection.”

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Tate Papworth
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