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Federal Labor unveils ‘scambuster’ policy

Labor will create a national anti-scam centre and double funding for services helping aggrieved Australians get stolen IDs back to counter scammers if it wins government.

Forcing companies to take down fraudulent ads faster, a review of the current penalties in place for scammers and a new ministerial portfolio for the issue will be introduced under its “scambuster” plan.

The party’s cybersecurity policy also includes a new industry code for banks, telcos, social media giants and government agencies.

These companies will need to clearly define how they will protect customers and businesses online and will be responsible for kicking scammers off their platform under the threat of heavy penalties if they fail to do so.

Shadow assistant treasurer Stephen Jones said the government did not properly protect Australians from scammers and cyber criminals after online crimes cost the economy $33 billion last year.

“Families and small businesses will be safer online … with the creation of a new cop on the beat to fight scams and online fraud,” he said

“Australia’s prudential and regulatory system is second to none but improvements can always be made.”

Cryptocurrency scams on social media, fraudulent text messages about deliveries and fake invoices to small businesses continue to hit hip pockets as more Australians head online.

Scams in Australia have doubled each year for the past two years.

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