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The number of young Australians being targeted by scammers online has surged in the last year, with concerning levels of sextortion taking place, new data suggests.

Statistics released today by Westpac Banks show the number of scams reported by customers under the age of 18 have almost quadrupled since last year, and have more than doubled for those under 30.

The data was concerning and showed a growing trend of scammers using techniques such as sextortion, Westpac General Manager of Financial Crime & Fraud Prevention, Chris Whittingham, said.

“It’s alarming to see such a big spike in the number of scammers tricking young people into sending compromising information online,” he said.

“Scammers will then use this information to extort money from the victim, often requesting a number of small payments over a period of time.”

Young males are overwhelmingly the most common victims of sextortion scams.

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