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  • Rikki Lambert

Scam-fighters boosted as Aust. losses double to est. $4bn in 2022


An October Crypto Expo in Bangkok promotes a crypto game and non-fungible tokens (NFT)

The Albanese Labor government has fulfilled an election pledge to boost the capacity of the federally-funded scam watchdog as Scam Awareness Week begins.


Financial Services minister Stephen Jones told Flow the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Scamwatch was staffed by just 10 people and needed to be upgraded as criminals target Australians:

"We need to raise the capacity of government to deal with scams. Over the last 12 months $2 billion worth of losses to economic crime to scammers ... we expect to go to $4 billion this year.
"Social media companies are often the platform on which scams are advertised and victims are lured in. We want to change the law to ensure that social media platforms have an obligation to take down illegal advertisements and we can go after the people behind them. If the social media platforms don't do the right thing, penalties will apply."

The Minister said cryptocurrency scams are the flavour of the month with criminals.


Hear the full interview on the Flow podcast player below:

The minister also indicated banks and telecommunications companies would be required by law to assist the government in halting the rapid rise in the number of Australians scammed.

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