FEDERAL Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch is cautioning women in his electorate to be more aware of threat and extortion scams after a new report found they are among the most likely in the country to be rorted of their money.
The University of Canberra’s Scams in Australia – 2014 report showed Queensland women aged 45 to 54 suffered the highest reported losses for this type of scam of any demographic.
“Across Queensland, women in this age bracket lost more than $260,000 to threats and extortion scams between January and October last year,” he said.
“A large portion of that may have come from Leichhardt which has the highest number of women aged between 45 and 54 in the state.”
Mr Entsch said the report showed the total amount lost by Australians from all types of scams last year was over $64.5 million.
“That figure represents $5.20 for every Australian internet user,” he said.
“But these amounts rely on self-reporting – it’s likely the actual amount lost was significantly more!”
He said the most costly type of reported scam was in the Dating and Romance category where $20.6 million was lost, while Jobs and Investment scams rorted around $19.2 million from Australians.
“The study found that the highest losses occurred when the victim was approached over the internet, followed by phone and email,” said Mr Entsch.
The University of Canberra’s Centre for Internet Safety advises that getting educated and taking a few basic steps can help Australian internet users from becoming a victim of scams including:
Use a spam blocker and don’t reply to spam;
- Don’t click on links in emails;
- Don’t open any attachments you weren’t expecting;
- Keep your antivirus software updated;
- Keep your computer’s firewall on.