The Government has announced plans to crack down on scammers following the release of a consumer fraud report by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), which found consumer fraud is costing the Australian community close to $1 billion.
The report, Consumer fraud in Australia: costs, rates and awareness of the risks in 2008, found that 90 percent of respondents reported having contact with a variety of scams, such as fictitious lotteries, phishing scams and other attempts to elicit personal information.
The Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Brendan O’Connor, has welcomed the report, believing that the more Australians know about consumer fraud, the less likely they will be to fall victim.
Consumer Affairs Minister Dr Craig Emerson said the Government is introducing tough new penalties to crack down on scammers.
“They will face fines of up to $1.1 million under legislation now before the Parliament,” he said.
“Under the new Australian Consumer Law the ACCC will have increased powers to prosecute people who have acted unconscionably or have misled consumers.”
For more information about the consumer fraud report, please visit www.aic.gov.au.