top of page


26th February 2024

• Queenslanders scammed out of $93 million in 2023
• Queenslanders over the age of 65 are reporting the largest losses to scams compared to any other age group
• In 2023, over 65s in Queensland reported losing nearly $35 million

Queenslanders are being scammed more each year, losing $93,331,359 in 2023 according to Scamwatch statistics.

Worryingly, Queenslanders over the age of 65 are experiencing bigger losses to scammers than any other age group, reporting $34,891,745 million in losses last year.

To put that into perspective, that is more than the entire Queensland population reported losing to scams just three years earlier. (2020 – $32,184,253)

One of the worst affected postcodes was 4560, which takes in a large area of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, including Nambour.

Nearly 100 seniors living in 4560 lost a total of $2,552,669 in 2023.

Another postcode hit hard by scammers was 4556 which surrounds Buderim, where there were 210 scam reports from seniors with losses totalling $543,927.

While $120,697 was lost to scams in 4551, which includes Caloundra, Pelican Waters and Dickey Beach.

Among the top scams Australians of all ages have reported to Scamwatch in 2023 were:
• Investment scams: $292,623,743
• Dating and romance scams: $34,344,656
• False billing scams: $27,991,378
The top three scams most reported by Australians to Scamwatch in 2023:
• Phishing scams: 108,636 reports
• False billing scams: 39,588 reports
• Online shopping scams: 21,346 reports

With the rising cost of living adding pressure to household budgets, it’s never been more important to be scam aware. That’s why the Miles Government is reminding older Queenslanders in particular, to stay vigilant and learn how to spot a scam.

Tips on how to be scam aware:
• If you are looking to invest money, do your research and check the company or scheme is licensed on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s website.
• If you receive phone calls or emails offering financial advice or investment opportunities, hang up or delete the email.
• Be wary of phone calls or text messages from numbers you do not know, and never give out your personal details.
• Be cautious of messages or emails asking you to click on a link or open an attachment.
• If you receive emails asking you to verify your contact details, do not reply – contact the organisation directly using contact details sourced through an online search or phone book.
• Be suspicious of any requests for money – scammers can often stress urgency in acting on the payment.

The Office of Fair Trading regularly talks to community groups about consumer protection and scam awareness.

For more information about how you can book an OFT guest speaker, see the Fair Trading website or call 13QGOV (13 74 68).

Queenslanders are encouraged to check the Scamwatch website regularly to stay updated on the latest scams and how to avoid them.

If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC’s Scamwatch via the report a scam page.

Postcodes where over 65s lost the most to scammers on the Sunshine Coast
Postcodes Scam Reports Losses
4560 99 $2,552,669
4556 210 $543,927
4573 99 $403,042
4557 68 $133,563
4551 251 $120,697
4575 87 $80,136

Quotes attributed to Member for Nicklin, Robert Skelton:
“It’s so sad to hear people I represent may have fallen victim to heartless scammers.

“That’s why it’s so important people take the time to do their research before they hand over their private details or click suspicious links.”

Quotes attributed to Member for Caloundra, Jason Hunt:
“It’s tempting in a cost-of-living crisis to be blinded by opportunities that are just too good to be true.

“My advice to everyone, but especially seniors, is to talk to family or friends before clicking the link, before sending money or before replying to an email from an unknown source.”

Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath:
“Scammers are getting more sophisticated and it’s alarming to see the growing amount of money Queenslanders are losing to them.

“These swindlers are targeting victims through their phones, via email, social media, and in person.

“It’s worrying to see seniors continuing to fall victim to investment scams which promise big payouts, quick money and guaranteed returns.

bottom of page