What the centre does

Work across government and with industry

The centre works with others to find new ways to prevent scammers from:

  • connecting with Australians
  • taking money or personal information.

We work together with government, industry, other regulators, law enforcement bodies and community organisations to make it more difficult to scam Australians.

Provide better information

We’re providing more frequent information on how to spot and avoid scams. This includes:

  • issuing quick and consistent warnings through the Scamwatch website and social media
  • highlighting the most harmful scams
  • improving our impact with more at-risk groups
  • working with partners on campaigns to reach more people via different channels.

Make it easier to report scams

We’re making it easier to report scams and get help from the right services by:

  • building new tools and systems to report scams
  • connecting reporting systems, so that people don’t have to report in many places
  • working with support services so that people affected by scams can get the support they need to recover.

Improve information sharing to disrupt scammers

Several government agencies currently have a role in preventing scams, each with a different focus. The National Anti-Scam Centre helps coordinate these efforts.

We’re improving information sharing across government and the private sector to disrupt scammers. We're also:

  • taking enforcement action when appropriate
  • raising public awareness about scams by organising anti-scam activities and building partnerships.

A new system to improve scam data sharing

The ACCC is working on a new system to improve scam data sharing across government and the private sector. This system will support high frequency secure data sharing with a range of agencies, law enforcement and industry.

It will allow businesses to quickly take action to stop scammers and protect customers. This work will be implemented over 3 years.

The ACCC expects businesses to act on this information to disrupt or stop scammers.

Support law enforcement

Almost all scams are crimes of deception or fraud. This means law enforcement agencies are responsible for the arrest and prosecution of scammers.

We work closely with law enforcement, such as state and federal police. We share information to support efforts to stop scammers here and overseas.

How the centre is run

The National Anti-Scam Centre is a virtual centre that sits within the ACCC.

It is guided by an advisory board with representatives drawn from peak bodies representing the finance, digital platforms and telecommunications sectors as well as consumer advocates, victim support services and others with relevant expertise.

There will also be opportunities to contribute to work across a range of working groups under the advisory board.

The National Anti-Scam Centre establishes partnerships and fusion cells to draw on expertise from the private sector, consumer groups and other regulators. Fusion cells are time-limited taskforces that target particular scam types and address specific, urgent problems.

Our first fusion cell targeted the growing problem of investment scams, which cost Australians more than $1 billion a year.

The National Anti-Scam Centre will coordinate up to 6 fusion cells over 3 years.

A Regulator Steering Group comprising the ACCC, ASIC and the Australian Communications and Media Authority has also been established to support the work of the Anti-Scam Centre. A broader operational regulatory group will also be established shortly.

The ACCC has final responsibility for decisions relating to the work of the Anti-Scam Centre.

The work of other regulators

The government has also funded other regulators to target scams. The centre supports their work.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission was given funding over 4 years to deal with investment scams. They will identify and take down websites which promote investment scams. This work will be cost recovered through levies under their industry funding model.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority currently has responsibility for oversight of the Reducing Scam Calls and Scam SMS Code. It sets out processes for identifying, tracing, blocking and otherwise disrupting scam calls and scam text messages.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Department of Infrastructure Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts was given funding over 4 years to tackle SMS scams. They will set up and enforce an SMS sender ID registry. The registry will stop scammers from being able to imitate brand names in text messages.

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