Online offensive - fighting fraud online

26 February 2010

The proliferation of online scams has significantly increased the chances of Australians falling victim to fraud, and it is the focus for the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce’s (ACFT) 2010 Fraud Week campaign.

The campaign Online Offensive—Fighting Fraud Online runs from 1-7 March.

ACCC activities planned for Fraud Week include the release of the first ACCC scams activity report (Monday 1 March) and new information for small businesses on how they can protect themselves from scams (Wednesday 3 March).

The aim of the ACFT is to reduce the incidence and impact of fraud and scams. Each year it creates a co-ordinated information campaign for consumers, timed to coincide with the International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network (ICPEN) Global Consumer Fraud Prevention Month. ICPEN is currently chaired by the ACCC.

The ACFT's work is greatly assisted by a growing number of government, business and community group partners.

Formed in March 2005 the ACFT, which is chaired by ACCC deputy chair Peter Kell, involves 21 government agencies from Australia and New Zealand with responsibility for consumer protection regarding frauds and scams.

Australian Government partners

  •  Attorney-General’s Department
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Australian Communications and Media  Authority
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (Chair)
  • Australian Federal Police
  • Australian Institute of Criminology
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

New Zealand Government

  • NZ Commerce Commission
  • Ministry of Consumer Affairs   

State and Territory Governments

  • Australian Capital Territory -  ACT Office of Regulatory Services
  • New South Wales - Office of Fair Trading
  • Northern Territory - Consumer Affairs (Department of Justice)
  • Queensland - Office of Fair Trading
  • South Australia -  Office of Consumer and Business Affairs
  • Tasmania - Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading
  • Victoria - Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • Western Australia - Department of Commerce
  • Representative of the State and Territory Police Commissioners
  • New South Wales Police Service

As well as the ACFT agencies, in 2010 more than 115 public, private and community sector partners will participate in Fraud Week by providing information to staff, stakeholders and customers via websites and media activities.

Some of the partners include Microsoft, Myspace.com, eBay Australia, Symantec, Telstra, Sensis, Betfair and the Australian Telecommunications User Group. 

A full list of Fraud Week partners is available on the SCAMwatch website, http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/725677

Consumers that have been scammed are encouraged to complete the Australian Institute of Criminology’s annual scams survey at http://www.aic.gov.au/crime_types/economic/fraud/acft/survey.aspx

For more information about the ACFT and the Online Offensive, or to report a scam visit www.scamwatch.gov.au or call 1300 795 995.

Links

Release number: 
NR 029/10
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