Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1407 ..
The use of cryptocurrencies, gift cards and international fund transfers are some of the common methods by which these scammers escape responsibility and circumvent attempts to recovery.
Older Australians are also the prime target of door-to-door and maintenance scams, which allow fraudsters to charm or frighten the victim into their scheme. We have some actual examples of this in our community at the moment, with a regular doorknocker very well known in Weston Creek, targeting households in the early hours of the morning, requesting money. Often, it is older people who are more likely to fall victim; they are vulnerable, intimidated and frightened, and they are not on Facebook platforms.
Further to this, current scams include COVID-19 scams. Since the beginning of the year, Scamwatch has received 6,415 reports of scams in relation to COVID-19 and reported more than $10 million in losses.
We need to place an emphasis on prevention. We need to look out for our older family members, friends and neighbours. We need to help them recognise when they are being scammed. Educational programs, such as those run by the Council on the Ageing here in the ACT, as well as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch program, seek to level the playing field and provide resources.
This Thursday, 13 May, volunteers from COTA ACT are hosting a drop-in session at the Queanbeyan seniors centre to assist elderly people in our community with digital support. Details are available on their Facebook page and website.
I call on everyone to check in on older family members, friends and neighbours. Make them aware of how these scams are working and happening in our community. Help them to recognise what to look out for. Encourage them to speak out if unsure, and to connect with organisations for information.
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (4.58): I want to take this chance to have a bit of a chat about the arts and entertainment sectors. We all understand that those sectors suffered more than any other sector during COVID. Performing artists, musicians, actors lost their ability to perform overnight, altogether. A lot of artists lost their marketplaces; they were not able to place freelance articles because there was no room in the market for anything except COVID-related content. That happened across the board. The artists were hit really hard by COVID. A lot of artists have secondary incomes, but most of those secondary incomes are in the entertainment sector, so they also lost that secondary income.
The federal government support we saw immediately after COVID showed that our federal government simply does not understand the arts sector. JobKeeper was written by people with salaries and was based on salaried work. That is not how the arts sector works at all. The arts sector is full of freelancers and gig workers, and most of