30 November 2023

Government takes next step in fight against scams


Joint media release with
The Hon Michelle Rowland MP
Minister for Communications

Today, the Albanese Government takes the next step in its commitment to fight scammers, announcing public consultation on proposed tough new, mandatory industry codes for the private sector.

The proposed Scams Code Framework is the next stage in the Government’s fight against the scourge of scams, which cost Australians over $3.1 billion last year.

Government, regulators, and industry have a mutual interest in making sure scams are identified and stopped before they can harm Australian consumers and businesses.

The proposed Framework would set clear roles and responsibilities across the scams ecosystem, with an initial focus on banks, telecommunications providers and digital platforms, to make Australia an even harder target for scammers.

The proposed Framework would introduce minimum, consistent obligations for all regulated businesses to prevent, detect, disrupt, and respond to scams. This would be complemented with sector‑specific obligations that are tailored to the role of each sector.

Regulated businesses would be expected to have robust measures in place to address the risk of scams on their services. Strong penalties would apply if businesses fail to comply with their obligations.

The consultation paper released today seeks feedback on:

  • the design, structure and scope of the proposed Framework
  • proposed obligations for regulated businesses to prevent, detect, disrupt and respond to scams, including in the sector‑specific codes
  • requirements for regulated businesses to develop and maintain an anti‑scam strategy
  • improving reporting and information sharing arrangements
  • establishing clear complaints handling and dispute resolution pathways for consumers, including redress where applicable for consumers when regulated businesses have breached the code
  • the role of the regulators that will monitor and enforce the Framework.

The consultation paper can be found on the Treasury website. Individuals interested in participating in the consultation, but who do not wish to make a formal submission, can complete a five‑minute survey.

Submissions to the consultation and the survey will close on 29 January 2024.

Comments attributable to the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, the Hon Stephen Jones MP:

“Behind every dollar lost to scams is a tragic story, but we’re making every effort to get those losses down.

“These tough new codes would make it really clear what the obligations are on industry to prevent scams and better protect people and businesses.

“We went to the election with a commitment to fight scams and this announcement is the next step.

Comments attributable to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

“Disrupting these sophisticated criminals is a whole‑of‑society effort. Government, industry and the community all has a role to play.

“New scam codes will ensure we have tailor‑made requirements for each sector to keep Australians safe.

“This discussion paper will help inform our next steps. But scammers are on notice: the Australian Government will use every tool at our disposal to stop them ripping off hard working Australians”.


The Government took a commitment to the election to fight scams. To deliver on this promise, the 2023‑24 budget provided $86.5 million in funding to:

  • establish a National Anti‑Scam Centre as a world‑leading partnership between Government agencies and industry
  • establish Australia’s first SMS Sender ID Registry to help prevent scammers imitating trusted industry or government brand names – such as Linkt or myGov – in text message headers
  • boost work by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to identify and take down investment scam websites.