A report released today by the ACCC says that reported scams in 2009 were up 16% on the previous year. The report is available on the ACCC website (pdf link at bottom of page)
“Realistically, this figure is likely to be the tip of the iceberg – given people can be embarrassed about reporting that they have fallen victim to scams and lost money in the process” said ACCC deputy chair Peter Kell.
‘False billing (advertising, directories, domain names)’ came in as the 5th most compained about type of scam for 2009, with the report noting
Scammers continued to target small businesses in an attempt to trick them into paying for a listing or advertisement in a magazine, journal or business register/directory. A common example is where a small business is sent a subscription form disguised as an outstanding invoice. This is an attempt to trick the recipient into signing up for unwanted advertising services.
It’s interesting to note that the ACCC have initiated legal proceedings against one such organisation, the European City Guide.