Government taking action on scam calls


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 13 March, 2019


Government taking action on scam calls

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released the terms of reference for a government project to reduce harmful scam activity over telecommunications networks.

The Scam Technology Project is being led by ACMA and has the participation of the ACCC and the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

It will seek to address matters including the potential for industry self-regulation of commercial electronic messages, the national Do Not Call Register and the Integrated Public Number Database.

A reference group established by these three agencies will provide strategic advice and insights to help guide the project based on their associated work on scams.

ACMA also plans to consult with other government agencies, the telecoms industry, large technology companies, consumer representatives bodies and international stakeholders on the design of the project.

Recent ACMA research found that more than half of Australian adults receive spam calls at least weekly, and 70% of Australians say they don't believe enough is being done to protect individuals from scam calls.

Data from the ACCC's Scamwatch service also shows that both the number of scams being reported and the money being lost to scams is increasing.

Chair of the Scam Technology Project Reference Group Fiona Cameron said the project represented a show of unity from Australian government agencies to minimise scam activity over telecommunications networks.

“Scam activity is highly organised, increasingly sophisticated and undermines consumer confidence in communications services,” she said.

“This project will investigate what can be done to disrupt scam communications activity, including possible consumer or network-based solutions like call blocking and network traffic authentication protocols.”

Cameron said the telecommunications industry has an important role to play in the delivery of frontline consumer safeguards.

“We need to be better informed and armed to slow down the scammer tide,” she said. “We also need to be aware that scammers listen and learn, and adapt their behaviour to suit the environment.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/tashatuvango

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