The statistics for Project Sunbird show more modest reductions, with the minister reporting that the overall amount of money sent for romance and investment fraud decreased by 26% in 2015.
About 72% of people who received a first letter warning of any suspicions stopped sending money immediately, and half of those who received a second letter also stopped sending money.
View the full list The amount of financial loss from online fraud suffered by people in Western Australia has almost halved, dropping from A.8 million in 2014 to A.8 million for 2015, according to a statement this January from the state’s Attorney General and Minister for Commerce, Michael Mischin.In addition, the minister noted that losses from relationship and dating fraud have fallen by 55%, to A.9 million lost last year.Project Sunbird has done a lot in terms of awareness raising and education for the community.It is also an important tool for law enforcement and consumer protection agencies in their bid to reduce victimisation.Again, the statistics are exciting and point to some positive results from Project Sunbird. I am a strong supporter of the Project Sunbird approach and have written before on its benefits.
But I also believe there are factors that need to be considered in conjunction with these latest reported statistics.
This has changed from earlier work I did where the main focus was on remittance agencies, such as Western Union and Moneygram.
This new approach appealed to victims who were aware of the risks in sending money overseas.
However, the use of prepaid currencies avoids current forms of detection.
There are many other factors that could also be considered.
While people may cease sending within these limits, there is currently no ability to expand the project to other countries for a longer period of time.