Seniors warned to be aware of scams

Published Thursday, 28 March, 2024 at 01:00 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

  • Queenslanders scammed out of $93 million in 2023
  • Queenslanders over the age of 65 are reporting the largest losses to scams compared to any other age group
  • In 2023, over 65s in Queensland reported losing nearly $35 million

Queenslanders are being scammed more each year, losing $93,331,359 in 2023 according to Scamwatch statistics.

Worryingly, Queenslanders over the age of 65 are experiencing bigger losses to scammers than any other age group, reporting $34,891,745 million in losses last year.

To put that into perspective, that is more than the entire Queensland population reported losing to scams just three years earlier. (2020 – $32,184,253)

One Queensland woman reported losing $110,000 to a cryptocurrency scam, after seeing an ad pop up on social media about gold mining shares for $250.

Among the top scams Australians of all ages have reported to Scamwatch in 2023 were:

  • Investment scams: $292,623,743
  • Dating and romance scams: $34,344,656
  • False billing scams: $27,991,378

The top three scams most reported by Australians to Scamwatch in 2023:

  • Phishing scams: 108,636 reports
  • False billing scams: 39,588 reports
  • Online shopping scams: 21,346 reports

With the rising cost of living adding pressure to household budgets, it’s never been more important to be scam aware. That’s why the Miles Government is reminding older Queenslanders in particular, to stay vigilant and learn how to spot a scam.

Tips on how to be scam aware:

  • If you are looking to invest money, do your research and check the company or scheme is licensed on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s website.
  • If you receive phone calls or emails offering financial advice or investment opportunities, hang up or delete the email.
  • Be wary of phone calls or text messages from numbers you do not know, and never give out your personal details.
  • Be cautious of messages or emails asking you to click on a link or open an attachment.
  • If you receive emails asking you to verify your contact details, do not reply – contact the organisation directly using contact details sourced through an online search or phone book.
  • Be suspicious of any requests for money – scammers can often stress urgency in acting on the payment.

The Office of Fair Trading regularly talks to community groups about consumer protection and scam awareness.

For more information about how you can book an OFT guest speaker, see the Fair Trading website or call 13QGOV (13 74 68).

Queenslanders are encouraged to check the Scamwatch website regularly to stay updated on the latest scams and how to avoid them.

If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. We encourage you to report scams to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch via the report a scam page. 

Postcodes where over 65s lost the most to scammers in Queensland


Scam Reports
































Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath:

“Scammers are getting more sophisticated and it’s alarming to see the growing amount of money Queenslanders are losing to them.

“These swindlers are targeting victims through their phones, via email, social media, and in person.

“It’s worrying to see seniors continuing to fall victim to investment scams which promise big payouts, quick money and guaranteed returns.

“My advice is – if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“One way we can spread awareness of scams is to talk about them.

“Talk to your family, your friends, colleagues or neighbours – because the more we share our stories of scams, the more we can help to spot them and avoid them.”