These are the top 5 financial scams in Australia right now

Not all scams are as funny as the 1989 movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Source: Orion Pictures

Australians have lost almost $46 million to cons and scams in the first six months of 2015.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reports there has already been more than 45,000 complaints made about illegal financial scams operating in Australia this year and has published data on the scams that are causing the most harm for the first time.

Dating and romance scams cost lovelorn people the most, racking up more than $10 million.

Investment schemes were a close second, taking a little over $9 million. Inheritance scams were the next highest, claiming almost $3.5 million, followed by Nigerian scams at $2.4 million, while betting and sports investment schemes rounded out the top five, taking $1.3 million.

This data will be updated monthly on the government’s new scamwatch website, which also has tips to help identify, report and avoid scams.

“Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to get your money or personal details. Scams succeed because they look like the real thing and catch you off guard when you’re not expecting it,” ACCC acting chair Delia Rickard said.

There’s more data on Australia’s 2015 financial scams in the infographic below.

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