Issue No 3: 9 February 2022
Public Comment Sought on New Industry Initiative to Combat Scam Text Messages
A strengthened draft Anti-Scam Industry Code - which now targets scam SMS messages as well as phone calls - has been released for public comment by Communications Alliance.
The new provisions build on the existing, enforceable C661 Reducing Scam Calls Code, which was registered in 2020 by the industry regulator, the ACMA. Under the existing Code, industry has already blocked more than 350 million scam calls to Australians and is blocking millions more each month.
Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton, said fraudsters had focused more strongly on scam SMS and short messages during the pandemic, partly because of the measures put in place by industry to fight scam calls.
“Scam texts account for around 20% of all network-based scam activity and these new tools will help service providers fight what is a distressful scourge on Australian consumers.
“This type of fraud may see consumers being asked to click on a link or call back a 1800 number. With more consumers having worked from home and receiving home deliveries, scammers have taken to sending messages impersonating messages from delivery companies and enticing consumers to click on fraudulent web links.
“We’ve all received them – they are annoying, but also dangerous if the consumer falls for the ruse” he said.
The revised Code features improved tracing and reporting measures, along with a new section dealing with the identification, tracing, and blocking of numbers associated with SMS Scams.
The Code continues to provide a framework for co-operation and information-sharing among telecommunications service providers, that assists in the identification of scammers, so that blocking and enforcement action can more easily be taken.
The draft Code will remain open for public comment until 11 March 2022, after which all the comments and feedback received will be assessed as part of the process of producing a final draft Code and submitting this to the ACMA for consideration for registration.
Australian Consumer Law and Mandatory Standards Regulation
Communications Alliance has provided a submission in response to the Australian Government’s consultation on supporting business through improvements to mandatory standards regulation under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
Below is a list of currently open telecommunications-related consultations being conducted by Government and other organisations that provide an opportunity for you to have your say.