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Exclusive: Almost one in five Australian adults were victims of an online scam during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the average amount lost to cybercriminals exceeding $2400 per person.

New research from US-based artificial intelligence company Nuance found that 17 per cent of Australian adults had been the victims of online fraud in the last 12 months, costing on average $2431.

The research, which polled 10,000 consumers across UK, US, France, Germany, Australia, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands and Mexico, found that in most cases the victims losses were compounded by the fact they used the same password for multiple online activities.

Simon Marchand, Chief Fraud Prevention Officer for Security and Biometrics at Nuance, said the trade in stolen passwords has boomed during the pandemic

.”Every day, passwords are being sold on the dark web and exploited for fraudulent activity,” Mr Marchand said.

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