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Today Tonight -

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(generated from captions) James Thomas, our reporter there. no-one is immune. When it comes to online scams, exposed to one in the past year. Nearly six million of us were a billion-dollar-a-year racket. That makes it of the established cons, But, as more of us become wary new fraud schemes are taking over. Clare Brady with more. and targeted with precision. They're slick Online scams - stripping, robbing about $1 billion

every year. from unsuspecting Australians and I'm a single mum, I ended up losing $30,000 so that to me is a lot to lose. to show her face This woman is too embarrassed with links to Nigeria. after she fell for an elaborate scam

peppered with lies and excuses The promise of love

but her savings. has not only broken her trust,

that I would be caught up in it, I'm really down on myself I've never done before. because it's just something emerge every month. New snappy, enticing scams but still reap in the dollars The latest seem odd like these ones, or Michael Jackson scams, the Patrick Swayze

are linked to viruses and spyware, where spam emails songs, videos and pictures. cleverly embedded in the artists' lottery and money transfer scams We've all heard of the the top of the list but the one hitting or inheritance scams. is the fake job offer is the dating and romance scams, Or even more popular on matchmaking websites. involving fake profiles of Criminology The Australian Institute about the increase in scams, is so concerned a survey of almost 1,000 people. it's commissioned a report based on The common features about scams or credit card details. are they want you to send cash The results were staggering, have been targets of scams finding about 9 in 10 Australians to the online shysters. and up to 18% had fallen prey Craig Emerson says Federal Consumer Affairs Minister is bombarded by scams every day. even his Government department

I would say about 200 scams a day. We have, on our emails, by Christmas The Rudd Government will pass a law for peddling scams. to fine corporations $1.1 million the mercurial tricksters, it admits, But catching will take a lot more than that. The success rate of scams how believable it appears. relies heavily on usually the retired, It targets its market, to get an eager response. and usually homes in on greed insidious scary ones I think one of the most reportedly offering a refund. is the Tax Office Don't send the credit card details! it's a scam. It's not the Tax Office; One of the saddest scam victim story of the late Elsie Carland. must be that Right up until the day she died, thousands of letters, the pensioner received beyond her wildest dreams. promising her she'd be wealthy colossal sum of more than $386,000. You have definitely won the every false promise, Elsie believed every false cheque, til the day she died. religiously sending money should I trust these people? I'm really broke and saying, sometimes it's my food money. It's very scary because Her daughters Raelene and Gayle she was sending so much money. had no idea and, of course, again, Nigeria. The scams originating in Canada never send credit card details. My advice is never send cash, it is too good to be true. If it sounds too good to be true, a severe hole in your pocket. Clare Brady on events that can leave