SWAN Hills MLA Frank Alban will host a free cyber crime presentation in Ellenbrook next month in conjunction with the Council on the Ageing WA.
In light of the ScamNet figures released this week by Commerce Minister Michael Mischin, Mr Alban will discuss how community members can protect themselves from computer and phone scams.
Despite ScamNet figures showing a 17 percent drop in 2016, 377 victims across the state lost over $10 million to scams.
Romance fraud remained the most common type, despite a 34 per cent drop in victim numbers.
“While most scam categories have seen a drop in both victims and losses, there are two categories that have seen huge increases in losses which is a cause for concern,” Mr Mischin said.
“Technology scams have seen a 21 per cent increase in victim numbers while the losses have almost tripled.”
Mr Mischin said another area of concern was the doubling of losses from investment scams, which rose to $2.6 million in 2016, despite the slight drop in the number of victims in this category.
“Using fake websites and sometimes stealing the identity of legitimate companies, the scammers dupe investors with promises of quick financial gains,” he said.
“A range of different investments are offered by scammers, particularly in the area of binary option trading.”
Mr Mischin said Project Sunbird, a joint initiative between Consumer Protection and the Major Fraud Squad at WA Police monitoring money transfers from Australia to west Africa, continued to be a highly successful intervention method.
The 2016 Scam Review report was released just prior to the destruction of almost 70,000 scam mail items – bound for Australian homes – that had been intercepted in the past two years.
The Scam Review report is available at www.scamnet.wa.gov.au.
If you believe you have been a victim of scamming, email email@example.com or call 1300 30 40 54.
The forum will be held on Tuesday, February 21 from 10am-noon at the Woodlake Community Centre, 2 Highpoint Boulevard, Ellenbrook.
Tea and coffee will be provided.
RSVP by Friday. February 17 is essential.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9296 7688