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Romance scams down as fake billing surges

The federal government's scam watch centre has reported an increase in losses from fake bill scams but a drop in investment and romance frauds.




Romance scams have taken a sharp dip but losses from false billing scams are surging, a new report has found. 


The federal government said its National Anti-Scam Centre had reported a 16 per cent drop in losses from all scams in the four months since it was established in July.


Romance scam losses dropped by 28 per cent and investment scams by six per cent.

But losses from false billing scams jumped by 25 per cent. 


The report put total losses to scams in September at $29.8 million, the lowest for a single month since October 2021.


Finance Minister Stephen Jones said while losses by Australians were  still too high, awareness was increasing.


"While today's report shows positive improvements, Australians need to remain vigilant to the threat of scams," he said.


The National Anti-Scam Centre was set up in July between government and industry to combat the increased sophistication of scam networks and growing financial losses across the country.


The release of its first report coincides with Scam Awareness Week. 


Mr Jones said the government was also working on tough new industry codes for banks, telcos and digital platforms, to set clear and robust obligations to protect Australians against scams.  


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