Aussies feel social media fails to stop 'scam war'

Australians are concerned social media platform giants are failing to stop scams and even encouraging the online phenomena.

The Australian Banking Association released research on Wednesday revealing 39 per cent of Australians believe Meta - the owner of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp - is not trying to stop scams on its platforms.

It also found one in five think the mega social platform is encouraging scams.

"We are amidst a scams war in this country," CEO Anna Bligh said.

CEO of the Australian Banking Association Anna Bligh
Anna Bligh says winning the war on scams will take a collective effort. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

Google faired better among public opinion with eight per cent of people surveyed thinking it encouraged scams while 37 per cent believe the platform is failing to do anything to stop them.

Confidence in banks, telcos, payment companies like Mastercard and the government was also assessed in the poll.

For banks, 50 per cent believed banks are trying to stop scams but could be doing more and just under half thought the same for telcos and payment companies.

Around 20 per cent thought banks, telcos and payment companies are not doing anything to stop the prevalence of scams.

A similar sentiment was shared for the government's approach to stamping out scams.

The survey polled 1594 Australians.

Scams on social media resulted in the second-highest number of reported losses last year, amounting to about $93.5 million, according to Scamwatch.

There was also a 30 per cent increase in reported social media scams in 2023.

The federal government is currently working to introduce a mandatory industry code to make the responsibilities of banks, digital platforms and telcos clear in terms of scam response.

Banks and telcos have welcomed a mandatory code however social media giants are still dragging the chain.

"Winning the war on scams will take a collective effort from government, banks, telcos and digital platforms," Ms Bligh said.

"Protecting Australians from scammers can only be achieved if every part of the scams chain leans is all in."

Ms Bligh warned without complete support across the private sector, especially with social media platforms, the war against scams will fall short.

"If they're not willing to back these mandatory codes, I'm not sure the platforms can say they're doing everything possible to combat scams," she said.