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Customers of Coles and Qantas have been told to be extra wary as a new scam targeting loyalty programs does the rounds, with an expert revealing Australians are extra vulnerable amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch issued the alert today, saying they’ve received 209 reports over the past four months.

The warning comes after new research by consumer advocacy group CHOICE showed nine out of 10 people have encountered a scam in the past 12 months, prompting the declaration, “scams are increasing rapidly throughout Australia”.

Australians are increasingly encountering scams as fraudsters make use of sophisticated technology to mask them, CHOICE said.

The research released by the consumer advocacy group also found a further 50 per cent of respondents said they encountered a suspected scam every week.

“Scams are increasing rapidly throughout Australia, often creating significant distress and financial hardship for victims. New technological advances mean scams are also becoming more difficult to identify,” CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland said.

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