Banking corporation Westpac surveyed 2,055 Australians adults and found two thirds (68%) are worried about being scammed
Almost one-in-ten (9%) have been impacted by a scam in the last 12 months.
Those who were scammed lost an average of A$12,000 (£6,705, $8,106, €7,225) and on average, it took around a month to recover the funds.
“Scammers are now using very sophisticated techniques, tricks and technologies to convince unsuspecting Australians to hand over their hard-earned cash,” said Ben Young, Westpac head of fraud.
The survey also found, of those scammed, one-in-two were impacted emotionally, including losing faith and trust in others (30%) and feeling anxious about unknown callers (19%).
Around two-thirds said they were too embarrassed, ashamed or anxious to let their friends, family or colleagues know that they had been scammed.
“While we’re seeing record levels of financial loss to scams, it’s not just our wallets that are suffering,” Young added. “Our data shows that scammers are taxing our time, creating stress and taking a toll on our relationships.
“With one-in-five Australians not talking about scam prevention, it’s important we lift the lid on scams through building awareness and taking simple steps to protect ourselves against scammers.”
In a bid to improve prevention, Westpac has launched scam awareness and protection seminars across Australia.
The bank hopes this will “create a safe space for local communities to come together to learn more about scams”.
The initiative will see Westpac’s local bankers and experts team-up to help educate and empower residents on how to identify and prevent scams.
Young added: “Scams can happen to anyone, anywhere. Westpac is committed to helping Australians get ‘scam savvy’ through working with customers and communities on scam education and prevention.
“Through taking action together now, we want to save Australians time, money and stress in the future.”