NEWS THAT MATTERS

Full house at anti-scam forums

More than 300 people attended Anti-Scams Forums at the Davistown RSL and the Long Jetty Over 50s yesterday, a local scams awareness event hosted by the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones MP, and Member for Robertson, Dr Gordon Reid and Member for Dobell, Emma McBride.

Residents at the recent anti-scams forum held at the Davistown RSL.

25 October 2023

 

FOLLOWING a stint of successful scams forums across the country, today’s forum focused on educating Central Coast residents on how to protect themselves against scammers, how to recognise scams and what to do if they’ve been scammed.

 

According to IDCare, residents across the Robertson electorate have lost over $2 million and residents across the Dobell electorate have lost over $1.5 million in scams in 2023 alone .

 

The forum was full to the brim with hundreds of residents keen to learn about what the Government is doing to raise awareness, educate and protect Australians from scams.

 

Almost everyone in the room at the event raised their hand when asked if they had received a scam call, text or email in the past month. This is why the Government has made fighting scammers a priority.

 

Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones said “I’ve run over a dozen local scams forums across the country, and I continue to hear more and more stories of people who have lost thousands of dollars to scammers. Enough is enough. The Government is fighting back. With the establishment National Anti-Scams Centre, we are driving home a clear message; the Government is putting scammers on notice.”

 

“The top piece of advice I would give to the community in protecting yourself against scams is to:

 

•Stop – take your time before giving money or personal information.

 

Think – ask yourself if the message or call could be fake?

 

•Protect – act quickly if something feels wrong.

 

Contact your bank and report scams to the National Anti-scam Centre via scamwatch.gov.au.”

 

The Government recently announced an $86.5 million package to tackle scams and online fraud, headlined by the establishment of a cutting-edge National Anti-Scams Centre (NASC) which began operations on 1 July.

 

The NASC is the Government’s primary weapon to detect, disrupt and deter scammers and tackle online fraud. In a world-leading partnership between government agencies, banks, telcos and digital platforms, the NASC will:

 

•use cutting-edge technology to share intelligence across Government and with authorised industry participants to interrupt scams in real time;

 

combine the expertise of Government and the private sector to disrupt scams and;

 

raise consumer awareness on the risk of scams and how to avoid them.

 

With scammers targeting the most vulnerable Australians and scams becoming more sophisticated, it is more important than ever that we get out to local communities to raise awareness and educate Australians about scam prevention.

 

Australians who are aware, alert and educated to the risk of scams will make Australia a harder target for scammers.

 

Member for Robertson Dr Gordon Reid said “Scams are on the rise and the Albanese Labor Government wants people living on the Central Coast to know what to do when they suspect they have been targeted”, Dr Reid said.

 

“Our anti-scams forum provided strategies and information on how to recognise, avoid, and report scams”.

 

“I would encourage people living in the region to contact the National Anti-Scams Centre if they suspect a scam has targeted them, this way the scam will be addressed by the authorities”, Dr Reid said.

 

“Thank you to everyone that attended the Robertson Anti-Scams Forum, I look forward to hosting another forum in the new year”.

 

Emma McBride, Member for Dobell said “As the scams trend reports show, 14 people in Dobell have reported scams just this week – with the most common scams being via email or text message.”

 

“The National Anti-Scams centre is a big step forward in protecting locals. If you need to report a scam go to www.scamwatch.gov.au.”

 

If you were unable to attend the scams forum, contact either Dr Reid’s office or Emma McBride's for an information booklet on scams.

 

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