ACCC welcomes funding
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has expressed its support for the establishment of the National Anti-Scam Centre (NASC) by the Australian Government. The recently announced budget allocated $US58 million to the ACCC for the setup of the NASC over the next two years.
The funding will be used to develop the necessary technology infrastructure for high-frequency data sharing with various agencies, law enforcement, and the private sector. The goal is to make Australia a more difficult target for scammers. The NASC will bring together expertise and resources to disrupt scammers’ contact with Australians, raise consumer awareness about avoiding scams, and connect scam victims with appropriate services.
By sharing scam reports and implementing other initiatives, the NASC will provide valuable insights to the finance, telecommunications, and digital platforms sectors, enabling them to take timely and effective measures to prevent scams. The NASC will be phased in from July 1, 2023, with the development of data-sharing technology taking place over the next three years.
Additionally, the NASC will establish fusion cells to coordinate efforts between the government and the private sector to combat specific scam activities more effectively. This enhanced coordination and focus will help target anti-scam activities and reduce losses to scams.
During its initial year of operation, the NASC will collaborate closely with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to deliver a scam website takedown service and support the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in combating telecommunications scams.
The ACCC welcomes the government’s commitment to introducing an SMS Sender ID register, similar to Singapore’s, which will aid in disrupting impersonation scams and help consumers verify the authenticity of text messages.
While these steps are positive in the fight against scams, the ACCC emphasizes the need for effective cross-industry standards to prevent scammers from exploiting weak links. The ACCC has been consulting on the future work of the NASC since receiving seed funding in October 2022, with the aim of better protecting consumers from scams through increased coordination across government, finance and telecommunications sectors, and digital platforms.