When it comes to scams, ‘prevention is better than a cure’ and the number one way you can prevent scams is by talking about them to spread awareness.
Earlier this month was Scams Awareness Week, an annual campaign dedicated to raising awareness of scams.
As of 31 August 2022, Scamwatch received 146,700 reports, with losses of over $381.2 million so far this year (a 100% increase in losses compared to the same period last year).
Investment scams, such as those involving promises of big payouts, quick money or guaranteed returns, cause the most financial loss in Australia. According to Scamwatch, over $267 million has been lost so far this year.
Cryptocurrency scams are the most popular type of investment scams and the most common contact modes are phone, SMS and email. It is very difficult to identify legitimate cryptocurrency investments from scams. Scammers take advantage of the hype and the less regulated environment to ‘invest’ in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency on a victim’s behalf.
Before investing, individuals should ask themselves if they are willing to lose some or all of the money they have invested and know that, if they go ahead, they are investing with little or no protections behind them.
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