Wednesday, 02 December 2020 10:46

‘Millions’ of scam calls blocked in trials, says Communications Alliance Featured


Millions of scam telephone calls have been blocked in recent trial initiatives, according to telecoms industry peak body Communications Alliance, in the lead up to the newly announced introduction of a new industry code aimed at stopping scam calls.

Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said service providers are investing in new technologies and processes to enable them to realise the objectives and requirements of the new Code and to combat the “scourge” of scam telephone calls.

As reported by iTWire, the Federal Government has released a new industry code that it claims will stop scam calls by detecting, tracing and blocking them.

In a statement, the government claimed that Australians had lost about $36 million to scam calls so far this year.

Stanton said the telecommunications sector welcomed the decision to register a “progressive” new industry-developed Code, which “is the output of work initiated in August 2019 by Communications Alliance and its members”.

Stanton said the Code - C661:2020, Reducing Scam Calls - is a “comprehensive effort to improve industry’s coordinated ability to detect, trace and block scam calls”, adding that the updated Code includes requirements to:

  • monitor networks, looking for call characteristics that indicate a likelihood that scamming is happening;
  • share information between service providers and also with regulators;
  • trace the origin of scam calls;
  • combat number ‘spoofing’, in which an overseas call is made to look as though it is a call from an Australian number; and
  • block numbers being used for scams, including through cooperation with international operators.

“Industry has worked effectively with the Scam Telecommunications Action Taskforce (STAT), which includes representatives from Government, regulators and telecommunications service providers, on a range of anti-scam strategies and initiatives, including the development of the Code,” Stanton said.

Stanton praised the efforts of the industry working party that agreed the Code requirements and drove the process to see the Code registered by the industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

“There is a shared recognition that scam calls are financially damaging and distressful to thousands of Australians and need to be curbed through concerted joint efforts,” Stanton said.

“We welcome the collaborative approach taken by the Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher and regulators, in concert with industry, to combat this problem.”

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