Cryptocurrency, Investments, Regulation

Investment scam losses stemmed

Investment scams ACCC National Anti-Scam Centre Cryptocurrency

Anti-scam initiatives by the government have significantly reduced the level of consumer losses in the first six months of their operation.

Investment scam losses have been cut by nearly 40 per cent and those related to cryptocurrency have fallen by nearly 75 per cent following the establishment of an anti-scam unit within the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones announced activities conducted by the National Anti‑Scam Centre (NASC) had reduced overall losses to fraudulent schemes by around half during the December quarter 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

Jones said scam losses prior to the launch of the NASC on 1 July 2023 were over $3 billion and its second quarterly report showed losses in the last quarter of 2023 had reduced by 43 per cent from the same quarter in 2022, after declining by 26 per cent in the September quarter 2023.

Specifically, there was a 38 per cent decrease in investment scam losses, a 74 per cent drop in those related to cryptocurrency and a 31 per cent fall in bank transfer losses.

Jones said the initial work of the NASC had turned around a trend in which scam losses doubled year‑on‑year and it would develop mandatory industry codes to ensure banks, telecommunication providers and social media platforms protected customers from such criminal behaviour.

“Behind every dollar lost to scams is a heartbreaking story – we are working hard to intercept these malicious criminals before they can inflict pain on innocent Australians,” he said.

“While this report is a promising sign that our plan is working, we urge people to remain vigilant to scammers and keep up to date with advice from the ACCC to protect themselves.”

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