Be wary of socials, calls, emails, text messages: $88.7M stolen in investment scams in 2023

It is only May, but already $88.7 million has been stolen from people through investment scams, by far the most popular form of theft.

A growing number of investment scams are robbing people of their life savings.

“Robbers don’t come with a sawn-off shotgun anymore. They come through your phone, and banks are putting their resources where their customers are. And that’s in the digital world,” said Anna Bligh, Australian Bankers Association CEO.


“We need to be doing more all the time, because you know what? The scammers are doing more.”

 ScamWatch reveals there have been 2275 reports to authorities, with reports of financial losses in nearly half (45.8%) of cases.

Investment scams are the highest loss category recorded by the industry watchdog, which is a growing concern given that true losses to scams are likely to be much higher as scammers become increasingly sophisticated.

New technology to lure and deceive victims is evolving all the time, and a growing number of Australians are losing substantial sums and even their life savings.

Authorities warn that impostor bond scams are on the rise. These usually impersonate a real financial company or bank and claim to offer government bonds or fixed term deposits.

“We have seen alarming new tactics emerge, which makes scams incredibly difficult to detect,” Catriona Lowe, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chairwoman, said.


“This includes everything from impersonating official phone numbers, email addresses and websites of legitimate organisations to scam texts that appear in the same conversation thread as genuine messages. This means now more than ever, anyone can fall victim to a scam,” said Catriona.


Federal Government allocated $87 million in the May budget for a new National Anti-Scam Centre to be based within the ACCC, as well as take-down functions for phishing websites and others that promote investment scams.

Investment scams rely on people making their own decision to transfer money to another person.

Don’t ever give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect. Honest organisations won’t call, email, or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.

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A special thanks to our contributors

Caroline Egan

DCM Media, agedcare101

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.