The six-month research innovation program brings together industry and academic experts in diverse fields of scams, deviance-led innovation and design thinking to explore new ways to proactively address this growing social issue.
“We are exploring how to reduce scam victimisation through innovation sprints and research, with a specific focus on system and process changes, psychological interventions, new business models, and recommendations for government and policy changes,” QUT Chair in Digital Economy’s Dr Paula Dootson explained.
According to the latest ACCC Targeting Scams report, Australians lost $489 million to scammers in 2018 ($149 million more than 2017) with investment and romance scams being the most common types of scams.
Suncorp’s Customer Advocate, Matt Leslie said more people than ever before are being impacted by scams and more needs to be done to better protect customers.
“QUT is a leader in this field – we’re excited to be working with them and our strategic partners like Citibank to identify how we can better protect our own customers, and also put a spotlight on recommendations for possible industry change to ensure wider customer protection across the board,” Mr Leslie said.
With more than 11 years’ experience researching the behavioural indicators behind scams, QUT’s Dr Cassandra Cross, the domain expert in the program, said the growing issue of scams in Australia needs the urgent attention from all parts of society.
“We’re seeing a significant increase in reported financial loss due to scams every year - and the sad thing is that fraud has a very low reporting rate, so we know this only reflects a portion of all fraudulent cases,” Dr Cross said.
“It’s important to recognise that anyone could fall victim to fraud if they’re targeted in a way which takes advantage of a person’s weakness or vulnerability. Offenders will exploit, manipulate and deceive a person into doing things they wouldn’t normally do,” Dr Cross said.