OPINION

Werriwa Matters with Anne Stanley: Morrison government was warned about scammers and now they are plaguing Australians

Lockdowns have forced many businesses and consumers online, which means more Australians have been targeted by scammers.

These scammers are plaguing Australians with fake invoices, fake deliveries and fake investment scams that cost Australia $33 Billion last year alone.

Anyone can be a target of these illegal operations. Older Australians are particularly at risk as online fraud and scam callers can be believable and can convince or bully people who are not familiar or overwhelmed by new technologies.

The Morrison-Joyce government were repeatedly warned about this growing issue. However, they ignored the risks leaving everyday Australians unprotected from these sophisticated scams.

Ignoring this problem, and not doing anything to prevent it, will only create more scammers that will have to be dealt with in the future. We need to improve our capability to fight online fraud.

Labor has a plan to take action by establishing a National Anti-Scam Centre.

This plan will bring together law enforcement, banks and telecommunications companies to protect Australians from scams by strengthening laws with new industry codes that enforce responsibilities for protecting consumers and businesses online.

These anti-scamming measures are about strengthening our system to protect Australians from tested and well-cultivated criminal activity.

Australia is in the top 5 most scammed countries in the world. This is not a record we want, and it is time governments protect their citizens.

More needs to be done to keep Australians safe, and a Labor Government will provide a solution.