Tasmanian social media users reminded to stay safe

Social media users are being reminded to be aware of online scams.
Social media users are being reminded to be aware of online scams.

As National Consumer Fraud Week comes to a close, Tasmanians are being urged to keep an eye out for scams every day of the year.

The  Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released its annual Targeting Scams report earlier this week, revealing a 47 per cent increase in scam reports in 2016.

Nearly $300 million was lost last year alone, with dating and romance scams at the top of the list.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said social media was becoming a popular platform for scammers.

“We have witnessed a sharp increase in scams taking place through social media sites,” Ms Rickard said. 

“It can be really hard to tell who’s genuine and who’s fake these days.

An ACCC report revealed a 47 per cent increase in scam reports in 2016.

An ACCC report revealed a 47 per cent increase in scam reports in 2016.

“Dating and romance scammers trick their victims into falling in love with them and then use their victim’s trust to deceitfully take their money.”

A Tasmania Police spokeswoman said the report was a timely reminder that “online safety is everyone’s responsibility”.

“The internet provides access to a vast amount of information and instant communication around the world … it is a part of everyday life for most people, however, there are those that use this information to exploit others,” they said.

To report a scam or to learn more, visit www.scamwatch.gov.au.