Australians over 50 are three times more likely to fall victim to a scam than younger generations, new data from Commonwealth Bank reveals.
Older men are more susceptible to scams than older women, with those in rural and regional areas more likely to fall victim than their city counterparts, according to the data released today at the National Elder Abuse Conference in Sydney.
Common types of scams reported by the bank’s customers include callers offering bogus IT support, phoney websites and text messaging, and romance and dating scams.
Dr Brendan French, Customer Advocate for Commonwealth Bank, said financial abuse, either through targeted scam activity or abuse, was of particular concern for older Australians.
“Continued financial education is key, and it’s important that at every stage of life customers continue to learn how best to protect their savings, understand their rights, and remain vigilant against scammers and abuse,” Dr French said.
“We recognise that older people have specific requirements, which is why we are working with industry, the community sector, and customers to develop a new guide that will address financial abuse amongst older Australians.
“The guide, to be launched in the coming months, will be localised for each state and territory, and will provide guidance for individuals and families to identify financial abuse and list what steps they can take to avoid falling victim.”
Dr French said a number of services were already available to protect customers against fraud or scams.
“Using the new Spend Tracker feature, available on the CommBank app, customers can more easily track and manage their spending. Customers can also block international transactions and put a limit on their transaction spend. Real-time notifications can also be turned on for credit and debit card purchases,” he said.
“Training has also been rolled out across our network, and teams have been specially trained to identify customers who may be at risk and be alert any potential scams or fraudulent activities.”
According to Scamwatch statistics, Australians lost more than $90 million to scammers in the last year.