Labor unveils national 'scambuster' policy

·1-min read

Federal Labor has promised to establish a "tough cop on the beat" to tackle scams that cost victims $33 billion last year alone.

A Labor government will create a national anti-scam centre and double funding for services to help aggrieved Australians get stolen IDs back.

It will also force 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.

"Everyday Australians are getting hammered. Text messages, fake phone calls, emails. Billions of dollars are being lost to criminals," shadow assistant treasurer Stephen Jones told reporters on Sunday.

"It has to stop. It has to change. We need a government that's going to take it seriously."

Labor'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.

Mr Jones believes the Morrison government should have already set up an anti-scam centre, such as those introduced in the UK and Canada.

"Successful countries around the world have put in place strategies to reduce the amount of scam material that's coming through and to ensure that you can react in real time when scams are detected," he said.

"If the Brits can do it, if the Canadians can do it, how come Scott Morrison can't."

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

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