18 November 2021

SUBJECTS: Labor’s Scambuster policy; working with business to take on scammers. 
MURRAY JONES, HOST: Stephen Jones, he's the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Financial Services, he joins me this morning. Stephen the stories I've just told, I should imagine that they are ones you are hearing on a very regular basis. 
STEPHEN JONES, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: I hear dozens of them every day. Great to be with you and your listeners once again. This is a $33bn loss of money to Australian households and small businesses. It's quadrupled over the last 12 months during a pandemic, as more and more people are doing their shopping, their business, their commerce online. We need government to step up and do something about it. But today I'm calling on businesses to review their practices as well, because too often the very legitimate practices that legitimate businesses are engaging in are priming people like me and you, and our Mums and Dads, to do risky things online. How often have we received an SMS from somebody saying your parcel’s about to arrive, just click through on this link? And you find you’ve been scammed.
STEPHEN JONES: You'd be surprised to know that some very legitimate businesses, parcel delivery businesses in this country, do exactly the same thing. The scammers are on to it and they go ah hah, they'll never know the difference between a legit and a good one, so we're going to do exactly the same thing. Your listeners would have had a phone call from a bank, a telecommunications company, a power company, saying they've called you and said I just need to get you to verify yourself, can you give me all of this personal information? Yet there's no way that you can verify them. And every time it happens to me, I just go crazy and say well, how can I verify that you are who you say you are? 
STEPHEN JONES: I rather suspect to the person who called you was a scammer because Telstra rarely asks, never asks, for a passport number. So I rather suspect they were a scammer. So I'm calling on business today to review their practices. We want government to step up and do more, and I've suggested five things they can do, and business has got a thing to do as well about reviewing their practices so we're not priming customers to engage in risky behaviour online. 
MURRAY JONES: Look, what we're talking about is two fronts, firstly, you know, safeguards and hopefully with assistance from the government but also a change of practices from some of the corporations. Let's talk about governments first. I mean there was that, you know, we thought this is the magic bullet, the old do not call register. Obviously, the scammers have found ways around that. They call from overseas and they basically use systems to basically make it look like they're in Australia. You know, they're basically outside the gamut of the do not call register. But look as we've just suggested too, you know, when it comes to corporations changing their way, often they do have legitimate things that they want offer to their customers or check in with their customers. But most of us are too gun shy. You know, I did get caught out, I admit, the other day. I gave him my, you know, my middle name, I gave my date of birth, but as soon as they started asking for passport number, and of course my license number, I thought, no way and dropped out. So I guess there's two things, two different sections that are not going to be simple to deal with, but they're really the things that we need to do and start to tackle to actually keep people safe. 
STEPHEN JONES: Yeah, 100 percent. So, you know, look I've singled out banks as one area where we need to look at, but they’ve actually been at the front. They are treating this seriously, they actually use two-factor identification in many of their practices. But I think more needs to be done, frankly and particularly with your outbound call services we need to look at new processes for doing this for your unsolicited calls. New ways of ensuring that both parties, the person giving the call can verify themselves and the person getting the calls can verify they’re speaking to a legitimate operator. And the URLs in SMS as and emails, that needs to be dealt with as well. All of your listeners will have got something from Craig Kelly over the last little while saying click this link. I’m sure that businesses don't want to be associated with the scammers, Clive Palmer and Craig Kelly and these sort of practices. So there's a message, if you like. Lift your game, do something different.
MURRAY JONES: Yeah, I didn't expect that one, but I'm certainly with you because I got one of those just last night actually I think it was … 
STEPHEN JONES: Oh my God! Oh my God!
MURRAY JONES: … and it went straight into the delete pile. There was no question that I,  certainly from my interpretation of that one, it was certainly a scam.