It's the best weapon we've got

Published:

Anastasia McCardel suffered the worst thing imaginable when she lost her son. 

Six months later, the Government hit her with a $6,000 'robodebt' allegedly owed by her son, who was on the disability support pension before he passed – an accusation she had no way of disproving.1 

It comes as the Morrison Government ramps up its notoriously fraudulent robodebt scheme – a scheme designed to force everyday people to pay money they don't owe. They're now targeting everyone from flood victims in Townsville, to grieving parents, and people with intellectual disabilities.1,2,3 

But we have just the tool to empower people like Anastasia to fight back. 

Two years ago, we came together to build FraudStop – a free service that lets people challenge false government debts online in just five minutes. It's been used by thousands to contest debts they never owed. 

But as the Government expands their false debt attacks on flood survivors and the parents of deceased children – we need to expand and help challenge thousands more. If enough of us chip in we can turn FraudStop into a mobile platform to assist the 20% of low income households without a desktop computer – and fund a massive advertising campaign in our regions, so people know they aren't in this fight alone. 

Fight back against the Morrison government's fraudulent debt threats – by making sure people can access FraudStop! 

In the last two weeks, the daily number of people accessing Fraudstop has tripled. And the more people who use it, the more it costs to run – but that's exactly what we want. 

To date, more than 70,000 robodebt threats have been found to be fraudulent4  with your help, we can help overturn 70,000 more. Here's how:
  • Expand Fraudstop to connect with voters in our regions who are miles from the nearest service centre, and often lack access to a desktop computer.
  • Develop a specialised mobile app for the 20% of low-income households who don't have access to a computer with the internet.
  • Work with developers to build an automated legal chatbot so that Fraudstop is accessible for young people, and anyone else who has difficulty with online forms.
  • A massive advertising campaign to raise the visibility of Fraudstop and make sure that everyone knows they can fight back against this government's fresh attacks.
With your help we can give people the tools they need to resist this oppressive program – no matter where they live, or whether or not they can use a computer. 

Can you chip in $12 to provide people with the tools they need to stand against this government and its horrific robodebt scheme! 

The Morrison Government is telling a story that people doing it tough, and folks in our regions, handed them the last election. An expanded FraudStop campaign can put an end to that. 

Not only will it give a powerful tool to the people who most need it – but it will expose this Government's attacks on people who are just trying to put food on the table. It will extend a hand to communities who have long felt ignored and neglected by our politics. 

FraudStop lets people fight false debt threats with a single form:
  • It automatically posts a formal appeal to Centrelink by post, free of charge. Centrelink offices are desperately understaffed, and phone lines are jammed.
  • It sends an FOI Request so you don't need to desperately hunt down payslips, or medical certificates from five years back.
  • It alerts your local MP  FraudStop automatically sends a request for help to your local MP. If your MP is responsive, their intervention can really help speed things up – and we've already heard stories of MPs responding to help.
But the government has been emboldened by it's election victory and is moving with an aggression we rarely see. We need to fight back right now, with an even more accessible platform and a huge awareness campaign – or we won't reach people in time. 

Chip in $12 to further develop and distribute Fraudstop - so that no one has to pay a debt they don't owe! 

After a divisive election, it's time to work across party lines, set aside ideological differences, and do something concrete for the people who need it most. 

In solidarity, 

Ed and Roj – for the GetUp team 

PS. Anastasia McCardel ultimately took her case to the media and forced an embarrassing backdown and apology from the government – but there are thousands more like her, who lack the means to fight back or simply don't know that help is available. Chip in, and together we'll make sure no one feels alone in this fight. 

References: 
[1] "Centrelink robodebt raised against dead disability pensioner", ABC, 29 July 2019 
[2] "Townsville flood victims hit by Centrelink robodebt program", The Guardian, 17 July 2019 
[3] "Concerns as 'vulnerable' welfare recipients targeted by Centrelink robodebt", SBS, 15 August 2018 
[4] "Centrelink wipes 'robo-debt' at centre of test case", SMH, 5 May 2019 
 
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