Feedback sought for new code to deter telecommunication fraud

Tuesday, 24 August, 2021

Feedback sought for new code to deter telecommunication fraud

Communications Alliance is seeking public comment on a new industry code designed to strengthen customer authentication in the telecommunications sector, including measures to combat fraud perpetuated via communications services. The new code (C666:2021 Existing Customer Authentication) will work with other regulatory safeguards, including the Pre-Port Verification Standard and the Reducing Scam Calls Industry Code, to minimise scamming and fraud for all Australia telecommunications users. The draft code is available for public comment for 30 days.

Alexander Osborne, Chair of the Communications Alliance Working Committee, drafted the code and said it would provide a common set of principles to ensure that service providers have strong protections in place to ensure that any request to make changes to a communications service is being made by the customer or their authorised representative.

“The objective is to limit the opportunity for fraudulent activity, in particular any action that could result in the customer losing access to their telecommunications service — for example, via an illegal SIM swap or service transfer,” Osborne said.

Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said the draft code also requires service providers to give information to their customers about the authentication solutions that will apply to particular actions associated with the supply of the service. “Fraud and scam activity is a fast-moving hydra-headed menace and we aim for this new code — combined with existing industry-led mechanisms around pre-port verification and prevention of scam calls — to provide a holistic approach that will offer better protection to customers,” Stanton said.

The Working Committee will study all feedback received during the public comment period before making any amendments to the draft code and submitting it to the industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), for consideration for registration.

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