Fighting online scams

Families and small businesses will be safer online under an Albanese Labor Government, with the creation of a new cop on the beat to fight scams and online fraud.

As lockdowns forced many consumers and businesses online last year, more and more Australians have been targeted by scams.

This includes:

  • fake crypto-currency and other investment scams appearing on social media platforms;
  • fake parcel-delivery scams delivered via mobile phone; and
  • fake invoices targeting small business email accounts.

Older Australians have been particularly preyed upon.

The Morrison-Joyce Government was repeatedly warned Australians were ‘ripe for exploitation’.

But Scott Morrison ignored the risk to everyday Australians, leaving them unprotected in the face of sophisticated scammers

He wouldn’t work with banks, telcos, law enforcement and regulators to take the steps needed to protect consumers.

He refused to call technology platforms to account for profiting from harmful fake ads that their platforms allow to go viral.

The Australian Cybersecurity Centre has estimated cybercrime cost the economy $33 billion last year alone. And international data suggests Australia is now in the top five countries in the world for getting scammed.

Scott Morrison doesn’t see that as his responsibility to fix. But Labor will take action.

An Albanese Labor Government will:

  • Establish a National Anti-Scam Centre, based on the successful UK ‘Fusion Cell’ model, bringing together law enforcement, banks, telecommunications providers and consumer advocates to harden national defences protecting Australian consumers and small businesses;
  • Double funding for identification recovery services to help Australians who have fallen prey to scammers get their stolen ID back quicker;
  • Work through National Cabinet to make it easier for government agencies to work together to recover people’s government-issued ID, like licenses and passports;
  • Bring in tough new industry codes for banks, telecommunications providers, social media providers and Government agencies to clearly define responsibilities for protecting consumers and businesses online;
  • Review penalties for perpetrators and remedies for consumers currently in place for online fraud, misleading conduct and deceptive practices;
  • Ensure that technology platforms who profit from the sale of online advertising are made responsible for the prompt removal of scam advertising from their sites;
  • Task a Minister with direct portfolio responsibility for championing the protection of consumers and businesses online.

Australia’s prudential and regulatory system is second to none.

But improvements can always be made.

Labor’s anti-scamming measures are about strengthening the system to protect consumers.

Australian families and business owners know Scott Morrison doesn’t think the spread of harmful, deceptive misinformation online is a problem.

Now they know an Albanese Labor Government will have their backs when it comes to their online safety.