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Australia cracks down on crypto scams targeting emerging technology sectors

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The Australian Department of the Treasury has released a consultation paper titled “Proposed Scams Code Framework,” aiming to establish clear roles and responsibilities in the fight against scams. This comprehensive framework seeks to address consumer and business scams by implementing sector-specific codes and standards, particularly in the banking and cryptocurrency sectors.

As part of Australia’s ongoing efforts to combat scams, the consultation paper complements the initiatives of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), including the annual Scams Awareness Week. Furthermore, it unveils a strategic plan to assign mandatory industry codes to each distinct type of scam, further strengthening the nation’s resolve to protect consumers and businesses alike.

The Australian government aims to combat scams through the “Proposed Scams Code Framework” consultation paper, as announced on November 30th by Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones and Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland.

The framework seeks to establish clear roles and responsibilities for government and private entities in addressing scams. The Treasury clarified that this includes implementing measures to prevent, detect, disrupt, and respond to scams, as well as sharing scam intelligence across sectors.

The proposed framework outlines three main categories for assigning codes and standards, focusing on sectors commonly targeted by scammers: banks, telecommunications providers, and digital communications platforms. Additionally, it includes a category for “future sectors,” which would address cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and related trading platforms and marketplaces.

Notably, the Treasury emphasized that scams resulted in Australian consumers and businesses losing at least $3.1 billion in 2022, marking an 80% increase from 2021. Despite recent initiatives introduced by the Australian government to tackle scams, existing efforts have proven ineffective.

The forthcoming mandatory industry codes will clearly define the private sector’s responsibilities regarding scam activity. Presently, the National Anti-Scam Centre (NASC), led by the ACCC, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, along with specialist support services, is collaborating to combat scams in Australia.

The Treasury is seeking feedback on the consultation until January 29, 2024.

 

Read also: SBI Holdings partners with Circle for USDC circulation and web3 services

 

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