Business IT security has been a topic that has gained far more prominence in the last year due to the pandemic and the sharp transition to a remote workforce. Scammers have adapted their tactics to take advantage of these factors. The lack of preparedness for the remote working transition, anxiety over COVID-19, and other world events have left individuals and businesses vulnerable.

Let’s break down some of the ACCC Scamwatch data for 2020.

Australians are losing money to scammers

As a country we lost a combined sum of $176.1 million in 2020, which is up 23.2% from $142.9 million in 2019. In 2020, the most money was lost in December, with $22.4 million, making up 39.4% of the 2020 total.

The number of scams reported in 2020 totalled 216,089, a 28.8% rise from 167,795 in 2019.

Top Scam Types

Scamwatch also ranked the top 10 scams by amount lost and most reported.

For amount lost, the highest-ranking was investment scams ($66.4 million lost), dating & romance scams ($37.2 million lost), false billing ($18 million), threats to life or arrest ($11.5 million lost), and online shopping scams ($8.4 million lost).

For most reported, phishing tops the list with 44,084 reports. This is a whopping 75% increase from 2019 (25,168 reports).

Top scams by amount lost

Top scams by reports

Source: ACCC Scamwatch

Top Scam Delivery Methods

Phone and email were the two most prevalent methods, and also accounted for the most money lost.

If we compare 2020 vs 2019:

  • Phone call scams accounted for $48.08 million lost vs $32.57 million in 2019
  • Phone scam reports rose to 103,153 in 2020 from 69,521 in 2019

  • Email attacks accounted for $34.28 million in 2020 vs $28.36 million in 2019
  • Email attack reports rose to 47,502 in 2020 from 40,277 in 2019
Scamwatch also warns of email scams that specifically target businesses. These emails impersonate a supplier or business that you usually deal with, in order to divert your usual payments to the scammer’s bank account. You can read more here.
Source: ACCC Scamwatch

How can You Make Your Business Scam-proof?

This data is a serious and sobering reminder that security threats are on the increase and there’s no room for complacency when it comes to your business IT security.

In a previous blog post, we covered our top tips to keep your email secure. Educating your staff with some simple recommendations is a great place to start. The increasing volume of phishing emails means we all need to be ever vigilant about what lands in our inboxes.

If you are serious about your IT security, then it’s time to engage a managed services provider like Arrow. We are partnered with Trend Micro to offer Trend MicroTM Managed XDR, an integrated managed security service across email, endpoints, servers, cloud workloads, and networks.

The good news is that Arrow’s managed security platform can help secure your business through proactive threat identification, investigation, and response.

If you’re ready to secure your business, it’s time to talk with our IT security experts.