ACCC Calls for United Front as Scammers Steal Over $3bn from Australians

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has just released its 2022 Targeting Scams report in which it found an 80% increase in total losses compared to 2021. Using data from regulators and government agencies, the report highlights the need for further collaboration between government bodies, banks, regulators, telcos, and digital platforms to close “significant gaps” in the system targeted by scammers.

The report also revealed that many vulnerable or potentially vulnerable Australians suffered record financial losses and emotional distress with people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities in particular “significantly over-represented”.

Small and micro businesses were also hit hard in 2022, with losses nearly double that of the previous year.

The ACCC is now calling for increased and more uniform measures, with input from consumer advocacy groups, and continues to advocate for a three pronged approach of (1) disrupting scammers’ contact methods, (2) ensuring all consumers have up-to-date information for how to spot a scam, and (3) effective measures to stop scammers transferring funds.

The full ACCC media release can be found here, and the Targeting Scams 2022 report can be found here.