A worldwide 48-hour sweep to uncover spam scams has been launched this week.
The sweep has been coordinated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), as part of its involvement in the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network's scam awareness month.
Louise Sylvan, deputy chair at the ACCC, said cooperation with overseas counterparts and other Australian agencies was crucial in combating the spread of fraudulent and deceptive scams online.
Seventy-six agencies from 25 countries took part in the sweep including members of the London Action Plan (LAP), a network which aims to encourage communication between international governments and private sectors to effectively enforce spam laws.
The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) has recently endorsed LAP, emphasising the need for global cooperation.
Dr Bob Horton, acting chairman at the ACA, said Australia had been successful in reducing spam originating in Australia. "Several of the world’s top 200 global spammers who were formerly based here halting activities or leaving Australia following ACA warnings," Horton said."But with less than two per cent of spam received by Australians now coming from Australian sources, fighting spam also requires global cooperation.”
"Consumers are still being caught out and the month long focus on scams aims to arm consumers with the knowledge and skills to recognise, report and stop scams,” said Sylvan.
To avoid being caught by a scam, Sylvan advises consumers to learn to recognise spam messages and never click on the links or respond to requests for personal details or money transfers.