Australians have lost more than $35.8 million in 2018 so far as a result of investment fraud, reveal the latest data provided by Scamwatch, the body operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

In the first ten months of 2018, ACCC has received a total of 2,934 reports of investment scams, with the amount lost being the biggest for those aged between 55 and 64. In terms of gender, men are the undisputed leaders both in terms of losses (nearly AUD 27.0 million, or 75.1%) and number of reports filed (63.8%).

According to the data, the most frequently used method of scamming people continues to be cold-calling. Fraudsters usually claim to be a representative of a stock, or binary options brokerage, cryptocurrency provider or investment portfolio manager. They often offer some ‘hot tips’ or inside information on a given financial instrument and claim this is a low-risk investment that will provide quick and high returns.