Friday, 04 June 2021 11:33

Phone scam no more: Australia and US join forces to fight scammers

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Scam activity poses social and economic impact on consumers and requires commitment and cooperation. To address this, Australia and the United States join forces to fight scammers and protect consumer rights.

Australia and the United States will work closely to combat unlawful robocalls, unsolicited texts, and phone scams under a new agreement signed by the two country’s respective communications regulators.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this week that will see them share intelligence, assist each other in appropriate investigations, and coordinate enforcement against cross-border entities.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin says the agreement builds on the already strong strategic and working relationship between the ACMA and FCC in the regulation of unsolicited communications.

“Scam activity has significant social and economic impact on consumers, with the scale and sophistication of malicious activity increasing,” O’Loughlin says. “This agreement will see us working closer with our American counterparts to crack down on unsolicited communications in instances where cross-border issues are involved.”

FCC acting chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel says robocall scams are a global problem that require global commitment and cooperation.

“With these irritating calls coming from near and far, we need international cooperation, information sharing, and enforcement to address this matter,” she says. “I want to thank our Australian friends for working with us on this agreement. By working together, we can help get these scammers off of our networks and protect consumers and businesses around the world.”

The disruption of phone scams is a 2021-2022 compliance priority for the ACMA. In March, ACMA revealed that 55 million scam calls to Australian phone numbers had been blocked since new rules requiring telcos to detect, trace and block scam calls were introduced in December 2020.

The full MOU, titled Mutual Assistance in the Enforcement of Laws on certain unlawful communications, has been published on the ACMA website.


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Kenn Anthony Mendoza

Kenn Anthony Mendoza is the newest member of the iTWire team. Kenn is also a contributing writer for South China Morning Post Style, and has written stories on Korean entertainment, Asian and European royalty, Millionaires and Billionaires, and LGBTQIA+ issues. He has been published in Philippine newspapers, magazines, and online sites: Tatler PhilippinesManila BulletinCNN Philippines LifePhilippine StarManila Times, and The Daily Tribune. Kenn now covers all aspects of technology news for iTWire.com.

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