Scott Morrison won’t lift a finger to stop the epidemic of scams hammering Australians’ phones, emails and social media accounts but Labor is listening.
Today we’ll met with scam victims in Western Sydney to hear their stories.
We want to understand first-hand the financial distress these insidious activities cause.
And we want input from those who’ve lost money about how Labor’s new plan to take the fight up the scammers can work to protect future victims.
Labor knows that fighting the criminal syndicates perpetrating these sophisticated frauds is going to take the whole community, including families and businesses in scammers’ sights.
That’s why an Albanese Labor Government will:
- Establish a National Anti-Scam Centre, bringing together police, consumer groups, banks, telcos and regulators;
- Double funding for victim support groups, focused on recovering stolen IDs
- Use National Cabinet to streamline recovery of Government ID forms, such as drivers’ licenses and passports
- Task a Minister with direct portfolio responsibility for fighting scams online
- Review criminal penalties for online fraud
Our concrete plan contrasts with the approach of the Morrison Government, which ignored warnings from its own agencies lockdowns were making Australians “ripe for exploitation” by online scammers.
The coalition has stood by and watched as scams doubled, then tripled, then quadrupled so that they now cost the community $33bn a year.
Sophisticated scammers are particularly targeting Western Sydney’s most vulnerable communities including culturally-diverse families, the elderly and small business owners.
That includes members of the Tamil community who fell prey to the “Hope Business” scam, costing individuals tens of thousands of dollars.
To their credit, these individuals want to do their bit to help protect their fellow Australians from scammers.
Labor recognises this is valuable opportunity to listen, learn and inform our commitment to make families and business safer online.
The Morrison Government, by contrast, has proved time and time again that combatting online fraud is not a priority and listening to victims is not for them.