New cyber security roadshow to block scammers and identity theft

This announcement is for: 
  • WA Government has partnered with IDCARE to deliver 20 Cyber Resilience Outreach Clinics, with a focus on remote and regional areas
  • Western Australians lost a record total of almost $16 million to scams in 2022
  • Report scams and suspicious activity to WA ScamNet to warn the community

The McGowan Government has joined forces with Australia and New Zealand's national identity and cyber support service, IDCARE, to deliver 20 Cyber Resilience Outreach Clinics (CROC) throughout Western Australia.

IDCARE's Team Leader Community Outreach Rob Blackmore will visit towns from the Great Southern to the Kimberley in a 'cyber truck', co-branded with WA ScamNet, to provide in-person support to communities impacted by identity theft and other cyber security incidents.

A record 1,203 Western Australians reported total scam losses of $15,988,513 to ScamNet in 2022 - a $1,196,805 increase from the 1,041 losses reported in 2021, and a $4,188,513 increase from the 952 losses reported in 2020.  An Australian Competition and Consumer Commission survey has indicated that approximately only 13 per cent of scam losses are reported to regulators.

This alarming data shows that, as scams become more sophisticated, more Western Australians are falling victim to them, resulting in larger losses. It also highlights the importance of fostering awareness and resilience in the fight against cybercrimes, scams and identity theft.

IDCARE has found Australians living in remote and regional communities are three times more likely to be impacted by cybercrime and scams than their city counterparts and experience higher financial losses.

The CROC roadshow covers 20 locations across the State, including Katanning, Busselton, Bunbury, Collie, Mandurah, Perth, York, Dongara, Geraldton, Carnarvon, Roebourne, Port Hedland, Newman, Bidyadanga, Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and Wyndham.

These WA locations were selected based on WA ScamNet and IDCARE data, geographical events such as the Kimberley floods, and requests from the community, with each clinic tailored to the requirements and issues affecting consumers in the local area.

The mobile pop-up clinics will be delivered in a format best suited to each community, such as a stall at the Harmony Festival in Katanning on 25 March, or a more formal presentation at a community resource centre, with WA ScamNet resources on hand.

You can keep track of the CROC roadshow locations by following the Consumer Protection WA Facebook or Instagram page for regular updates.

WA ScamNet gathers information from consumers and businesses to raise awareness of scams that are targeting Western Australians. By reporting scams, suspicious emails and text messages on the ScamNet website or calling 1300 30 40 54, WA ScamNet can stay up to date with the latest and most prevalent scams, and warn the community.

Comments attributed to Commerce Minister Sue Ellery:

"Protecting the identities of Western Australians and helping people to avoid being scammed are important priorities for the McGowan Government.

"We are excited to collaborate with IDCARE on this shared journey to raise awareness about current scams, cyber threats and online-enabled crimes, and help protect remote and regional communities in particular from malicious cyber activity.

"Communities are being exposed to an environment of increasing cyber security concerns, and this partnership will provide in-person support and assurance to more people right across the State.

"The WA Government is committed to improving cyber security in WA and preventing malicious cyber activity at every opportunity, which is why it is crucial for consumers to report scams to WA ScamNet."

Minister's office - 6552 5700

Consumer Protection
Media release
20 Mar 2023

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