ACS, the professional association for Australia’s technology sector, has welcomed the Federal government’s allocating $58 million to the ACCC for the agency to establish the National Anti-Scam Centre.
Setting up a fund to fight online scams was one of the nine proposals put forward by ACS in its election platform ahead of the 2022 Federal poll. As Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones stated in making the announcement, Australians lost over $3 billion to scams in 2022 with scam losses increasing nearly five-fold since 2020.
ACS Chief Executive Officer, Chris Vein said: “we’re delighted the Federal government has recognised this important issue facing Australians as online criminals misuse internet and communications technologies to exploit Australians.
“The costs being carried by Australians falling victim to these tricks was why ACS suggested a $100m dollar initiative to fight online scams and it is excellent the ACCC has been given the powers to work closer with industry to do more in controlling this problem.
“As the organisation representing technology professionals, ACSis always concerned when IT is being misused for criminal gain and we strongly support measures that encourage the ethical use of technologies.
“This announcement, coupled with last week’s Budget measures of an additional $132.1 million to the eSafety Commissioner and the $10.9 million for ACMA to establish an SMS Sender ID Registry, shows the government shares our concerns.
“We look forward to working with the government, the ACCC, e-Safety Commissioner, ACMA and other agencies to ensure all Australians reap the benefits of technology while limiting the risks.”
The ACS Election Platform, released in March 2022, proposed a $100m effort to reduce the volume of SMS, phone and email-based scams by boosting enforcement, tightening controls on scammer’s money flows and compelling telcos to take stronger action to block calls from providers known to be hosting scam operators.
Yesterday’s announcement from the Federal government detailed $58m in funding which included a technology build of $44 million enabling the NASC to:
- Receive a report of a scam from any institution (private or government) and centralise this intelligence.
- Distribute data to those who need it most – such as banks to freeze an account, telcos to block a call, digital platforms to take down a website or account.
- Analyse and act on the trends sourced from this data to disrupt scams and educate Australians.
The remaining funding of $14 million will be used to resource the NASC to deliver fusion cells; provide education and communications activities in collaboration with the private sector and support the ongoing data analysis; intelligence gathering, and disruption.
ACS Election platform: https://www.acs.org.au/insightsandpublications/reports-publications/2022-federal-election-platform.html
ACCC welcomes funding: https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-welcomes-funding-to-establish-national-anti-scam-centre
Director of Corporate Affairs and Public Policy
M – 0417 173 740
E – firstname.lastname@example.org