Technology for social justice
Woman using computer to check her finances

Digital and financial capability partnership helps vulnerable people avoid scams with new courses

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To coincide with National Scams Awareness Week (17–21 August), Australian Red Cross, Credit Union Australia (CUA) and Infoxchange have launched new free training courses to help people look after their money online. This involves how to identify and avoid scams, an all-too-common hazard of online money management that often affects the most vulnerable.

The three organisations have partnered to provide training in the digital skills people need to confidently manage their money online.

The partnership provides free practical, face-to-face and online courses for all Australians, to help boost financial and social outcomes in the community. While some courses are delivered in local communities, a special online course has been scheduled for 19 August, which means all Australians can be involved.

“As more of everyday life moves into the digital realm, people who are not online experience increasing exclusion. This includes exclusion from banking services, health and government services, employment and social opportunities. This is even more relevant in the current context, due to COVID-19 restrictions,” said Rushda Halith, Australian Red Cross Head of Community Programs. “We’ve been working with vulnerable people to design solutions to make digital tools more accessible.”

According to the latest Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Targeting Scams report, last year Australians lost more than $634 million to scams in more than 353,000 reports. These figures are based on reports to the ACCC’s Scamwatch, which captures information on types of scams and losses, and publishes data online monthly.

“Since COVID-19 hit, more people than ever have been experiencing financial stress, and that’s really highlighted a need to help the most vulnerable people in our community to make more informed decisions when managing their money online,” said Infoxchange CEO David Spriggs.

“In this increasingly digital world, having practical digital skills and the confidence to use digital technology is so important. For a lot of us, using the internet and digital technology is part of everyday life, but there are many people who are missing out on the critical opportunities that technology offers.”

Young family gathered around a laptop computer

CUA Chief Customer Officer Megan Keleher said CUA team members would leverage their financial and digital knowledge to deliver the training to CUA members and more broadly through Infoxchange and Red Cross community networks.

“We see firsthand every day how important it is to lift the digital and financial capability of vulnerable Australians and connect them with the support they need to build a better financial future,” she said.

“Through this training we’ll help equip Australians with practical skills and knowledge to help them keep their money safe online, manage their privacy – and also improve their financial skills through budgeting tools and tips.

“We’re really pleased to be involved in this initiative which builds on our heritage of breaking down the barriers to financial inclusion.”

All courses can be accessed through Digital Springboard, a program by Infoxchange and Google to help people learn the digital skills they need to thrive in work and life.

Register for the 19 August online course at: www.digitalspringboard.org.au/find-courses

Local community organisations can become partners to deliver courses to people in their local area: www.digitalspringboard.org.au/partner-with-us

Filed in: Digital skills | Tagged as: Connected Future

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