Business losses to scams increase by 23%

May 29, 2018

A message from the ACCC:


This Scams Awareness Week, small businesses are urged to ‘Stop and check: is this for real?’ to avoid scammers pretending to be from government organisations or other businesses.

On Monday, we released our Targeting scams report which revealed that in 2017, businesses reported losing nearly $4.7 million to scammers, a 23 per cent increase compared to 2016. Small businesses accounted for nearly $3 million of these losses.

Some of the most common scams targeting businesses involve scammers offering services such as web page development, search engine optimisation, small business loans and business directory listings. A large number of businesses also fall victim to false billing scams, which involve scammers sending invoices demanding payment for services that weren’t ordered.

You can help protect your business by taking steps to:

  • keep your filing and accounting systems well organised – this will make it easier for you to detect bogus accounts and invoices
  • double check every request for payment
  • update your security software, change passwords and back up your data regularly
  • consider what business information you post on social media and networking sites, as scammers use publicly available information to target businesses.


We also encourage you to report scams at Report a scam and read our Business scams fact sheet.