A new report into the impact of scams on culturally diverse communities has found indigenous populations are facing increasing rates of vulnerability.

The annual Targeting Scams Report published last Monday by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found Scamwatch received 4958 reports from Indigenous Australians last year responsible for $4.8 million in losses, a 142 per cent increase since 2020.

“Scammers generally cast their nets very wide, but some specifically target groups such as Indigenous Australians” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Investment scams proved to be the most financially damaging for Indigenous communities.

The report found younger Indigenous Australians on average lose more than older populations, thereby threatening to be a long-term problem for communities.

In the past traditional measures of educating Indigenous populations on the dangers of scams have been criticised as failing to accommodate for the lack of financial literacy and language barriers often present.

“It is no good if the (ACCC) or any of those other organisations come along and say, ‘we’ll put some posters out… They are all in English and… they do not deal with the real needs that people have,” advocate Richard Trudgen said.

“We need the Australian government to roll out something, for Aboriginal people.

“Not through culturally incompetent mainstream services, but through organisations like ours and so on, who have the language skills, who know their people and who know what the gaps are.”

  • Story by James Italia-Prasad



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