Labor has a plan to fight scammers and spoiler alert, it involves creating an aAnti-Scam Centre.
This week is Scam Awareness Week (RIP our inbox), which is all about raising awareness of scams and basically flooding social media with ‘how to’ approaches to avoid being part of the $33 billion loss figure being waved around today.
The federal government last month announced a war on scams, well, it announced it was expanding a pilot program to block scam SMS messages nation-wide. Ideally, the resulting solution will block phishing texts from reaching our phones, but it’s still being developed and hasn’t really captured too many spam messages.
Labor has today jumped on board with its own plan in the scam battle, or as Shadow Treasurer Stephen Jones put it, “there’s a whole bunch we can do to ensure that Australia doesn’t continue to be a scammers paradise”.
Sick of all the scam calls and texts?
So are we.
— Stephen Jones MP (@StephenJonesMP) November 7, 2021
There are a few things Jones reckons should be done almost immediately.
“Firstly, we set up an Anti-Scam Centre which brings together the existing regulators, including the police. Would also bring together, and this is crucial, representatives from the banks, the telecommunications providers and the social media platforms. The latter two, critical because they’re the vectors, if you like, for spreading the virus,” he said during an ABC interview.
“It’s the telecommunications, whether it’s the internet, whether it’s mobile phones through SMS and phone calls or there are social media platforms. And the banks, if you like, are the wallet at the end of the scam. So we need to bring them together. We need more cooperation between those centres.”
This collaboration, according to Jones, would combine real-time monitoring, blocking incoming scam material and alerting people quicker. It would also “chase down the criminals”.
“Obviously, the desire is to stop it happening in the first place, but we can’t be naive to the fact that a lot of people are going to fall for this. And we need to be able to provide services to assist them,” he continued.
One gap Labor says it has identified is in the stolen identity space. Jones ideally wants a way for people who have had their identity stolen to repair it so they don’t get scammed again.
In addition to the Anti-Scam Centre, the Labor scam-busting plan also includes the creation of a new code of practice for fighting scams and a minister to be appointed to take charge. We don’t care who does it, just get rid of ’em, please.