Coast not sold on online fraud

ONLINE scammers contribute a significant number to business losses each year, but Gold Coast residents are proving less susceptible of falling victim to fraudulent activity.

A report by The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) shows a national total of $70 million in reported losses through scams in 2009.

Queensland Fair Trading Minister Peter Lawlor, says while the Gold Coast is not immune to scams, the numbers indicate some resilience.

“The Office of Fair Trading received 2173 complaints relating to scams in 2009 — up 800 on the previous year. Of these complaints, 66 originated from Gold Coast residents,” he says.

ACCC deputy chair Peter Kell, says the majority of total national losses occurred through fraudulent internet activities and the real figure is expected to be much higher.

“Realistically, this figure is likely to be the tip of the iceberg – given people can be embarrassed about reporting that they have fallen victim to scams and lost money in the process,” he says.

Lawlor concedes there are many instances that go unreported and urges victims of online scammers to report the crimes and help stamp out fraudulent online activity.

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