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The real impact of financial scams

We examine the cost of financial scams, the impact they have on Australians, and emphasise the importance of awareness and preparedness in combating cyber fraud.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), in 2022, financial scams cost Australians an alarming $3 billion. This statistic underscores a growing concern, as the complexity of digital transactions increases, making it more difficult for individuals to stay safe online.

Financial fraudsters are experts at deceiving, manipulating, and exploiting unsuspecting victims into making unsafe financial transactions or investments, or sharing sensitive information. These illegal activities extend beyond financial loss to include money laundering and potentially funding terrorism.

No one is immune to the threat of cyber attacks. As we continue to integrate technology into our daily routines, our exposure to financial scams also increases. Scammers use sophisticated methods, leveraging technology to target a wide demographic, from tech-savvy young adults to older individuals who may not have as much digital literacy.

The consequences of falling victim to a scam extend beyond the immediate financial losses, severe as they are. The psychological impact includes stress, anxiety, and a reduced sense of security, which can disrupt personal relationships and professional lives.

Moreover, these scams have broader economic implications. They can shake confidence in digital commerce, which is vital for the modern economy. Ensuring your financial security becomes critical, not just in protecting your assets but also in maintaining confidence in your financial activities.

Preventing financial scams

Education and awareness are your best defence against financial scams. Recognising the signs of a scam is the first step toward protecting yourself. Watch out for:

  • Unsolicited offers: Be cautious of unexpected contacts or offers that appear too good to be true.
  • Pressure tactics: Scammers often create urgency, pushing you to make quick decisions without proper consideration.
  • Requests for confidential information: Remember, legitimate organisations will not ask for sensitive details through insecure channels.

Being aware of these signs can help you and your loved ones steer clear of potential threats.

What to do if you are targeted

If you think you’ve been targeted by a scam, immediate action can help limit the damage:

  • Report the incident: Secure your accounts by contacting your financial institution and report the scam to bodies like the ACCC.
  • Educate others: By sharing your experience, you can help prevent further victims and raise awareness.
  • Seek support: The distress caused by financial scams can be overwhelming. Professional counselling or support groups can be valuable resources.


As digital technology becomes increasingly embedded in our lives, the risk of financial scams remains a significant threat. However, by staying informed and vigilant, you can protect your financial well-being. It is crucial to cultivate a secure and trustworthy environment around your financial transactions.

Information on this site is all general advice. We shouldn't have to say this, but it's a legal obligation to tell you that this site hasn't read your mind, hasn't understood your goals or objectives, and doesn't know anything about you. As such, if you take this as personal financial advice, this is the least of your concerns. Hopefully Recommendation 2 of the Quality of Advice Review ends up enabling the removal of this warning. Until it does, your General Advice Warning goes here. Updating it is simple, you can just go to your site settings, and it automatically propagates to any blog posts as well as anywhere else the warning might appear.

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