ACCC scam report reveals Australians bearing the losses of a ‘scamdemic’ in a cost-of-living crisis

The huge cost of scams on Australian families in a cost-of-living crisis, is placing an unacceptable burden on a community already doing it tough. That’s the bleak reality of the figures in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) latest report on scams.

Consumer Action Law Centre CEO Stephanie Tonkin said the losses reported for 2023 were less than the $3.1 billion in 2022, giving hope that the targeted measures focused on prevention by the banks and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) are starting to work, but $2.74 billion lost in one year is  too high, and the consumer harm sitting behind that number immense.

“We are in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and people are doing it tough, these billions of stolen dollars lost shouldn’t be borne by victims who have fallen through the cracks,” Ms Tonkin said.

“What we need is for the banks, telcos, and digital platforms to all take responsibility and reimburse their customers- and for the Federal Government to step in now and pass laws to make this happen, to protect the financial safety and security of all Australians,” she said.

“Every day on our frontline services we speak to people losing life changing amounts through increasingly sophisticated scams, and despite all the voluntary efforts being made across the board, customers are still receiving inconsistent and inadequate responses from their banks and dispute resolution services when they seek help,” Ms Tonkin said.

“No one alone can fight these criminals, and thousands of Australians are falling through cracks as scammers innovate and get more sophisticated.”

Ms Tonkin said that there are some glimmers of hope in the report with losses to scams reduced by 13% compared to 2022 due to prevention activity by banks and ASIC.

“I am concerned that the regulation flagged by Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones won’t bring the level of investment required to disrupt scams, and the Federal Government is still not coming out and saying that innocent scam victims will be reimbursed for their losses, not even a proportion of it,” Ms Tonkin added.

“Scams losses must be redistributed across banks, telcos and digital platforms– that’s only fair.  Australians shouldn’t have to pay for businesses failing to secure their systems.”


Media contact: Mark Pearce, Media and Communications Adviser, 0413 299 567,

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Skip to content