A Promising Start as National Anti-Scam Centre Releases its First Report

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Original media release by the Hon Stephen Jones MP, Assistant Minister for Financial Services (26/11/2023).

The Albanese government’s commitment to crack down on scams is today backed by a new National Anti-Scam Centre report that shows scam losses are down by 16% in its’ first 4 months of operation.

Today, the Government is releasing the first Quarterly Report of the new National Anti-Scam Centre (NASC). 

The NASC launched in July as part of an $86.5 million package to crackdown on scams. It represents the most cohesive partnership between government and industry to date to protect against these criminals.

The release of the report coincides with the start of Scam Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness so people can better protect themselves.

While scam losses are still significant, the report shows a 16% decrease in losses compared to the same quarter last year. It also reveals that losses from investment scams have declined by 6%, and romance scam losses have declined by 28%.

The quarter ended with reported scam losses of $29.8 million in September 2023, the lowest losses reported in a single month since October 2021.

These figures show the impact of the National Anti-Scam Centre in leading a coordinated government and industry partnership to combat scams. 

The report shows a 25% rise in false billing scams that underscore the importance of Australians remaining alert to the threat of scams. As scammers evolve their tactics, the government, industry and consumers need to be vigilant and adapt our responses. 

We know that when you take down one scam, others will pop up. That is why the NASC uses fusion cells that act like hit squads to identify and take down scams as they arise. This is an ongoing and long-term piece of work. Consumer awareness and education on scams and how to avoid them is also core to the NASC’s work.

The Albanese Government went to the election with a promise to make Australia an undesirable place for scammers, and we are delivering on that promise. 

The Government is also working on tough new industry codes for banks, telcos and digital platforms, which will set clear, robust obligations to protect Australians against scams. This sits alongside the work the Government is doing in delivering on cybersecurity and information privacy to protect Australian households and businesses.  

For more information, please visit the National Anti-Scam Centre. If you or someone you know suspect a scam, report it to the National Anti-Scam Centre.

Quotes attributable to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones: 

“We made a promise to crackdown on scammers who have been going after the hard-earned cash of households and businesses, and today this report shows we are delivering on that promise.

“There are clear early signs of success from the Centre’s first 4 months in operation and goes to show the importance of collaboration between government and industry in this fight.

“While today’s report shows positive improvements, Australians need to remain vigilant to the threat of scams, while we keep working to protect Australians from these criminals.

“The report coincides with the start of Scam Awareness Week, a national campaign led by the National Anti-Scam Centre alongside over 350 public and private sector partners.  

“This type of united action across the entire economy is vital to making Australia the least favoured destination for scammers.”