Australian businesses lost a total of $85 million to fraud last year, according to new figures, with small businesses particularly vulnerable to scams.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it received 83,150 complaints about scams in 2011, with up-front payment and computer hacking the most widespread type of con.
The ACCC said that small firms were particularly at risk from scams, due to the time pressures on owner-operators.
ASIC warning over non-reporting penalties
The corporate watchdog has warned listed businesses to comply with continuous disclosure laws after construction firm Leighton Holdings was hit with a large fine.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission fined Leighton $300,000 for its delay in letting the market know that a projected profit wouldn’t be met.
ASIC warned that businesses face fines and continual monitoring if they fail to report their position to the market.
Unions push for minimum wage rise
Business lobby groups have countered union calls for a rise in the pay of minimum wage workers, claiming that non-mining companies cannot afford the increase.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions wants a $26-a-week increase in the minimum wage, but employers have urged Fair Work Australia to be cautious when deciding on any new hike.
The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 20.14 points, or 0.15%, to 13,232.62 on Friday. The Australian dollar was up to 105.28 US cents.