NEW DRAFT TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY CODE TO COMBAT SCAM CALLS RELEASED FOR PUBLIC COMMENTSydney, 24 March 2020: A new draft industry Code, designed to fight scam callers, has been released for public comment by Communications Alliance.
Scam calls annoy and defraud Australian consumers. While vulnerable consumers are at the highest risk of being defrauded, even well-informed and sophisticated consumers can fall victim. Even those not defrauded are victims to an extent, as their telecommunications service is used to persistently deliver Scam Calls or in some cases their number is used (spoofed) to make Scam Calls without their knowledge.
The level of sophistication and agility now seen with scammers and fraudsters is one of the key issues faced by industry. In addition to the work being undertaken by the regulators to combat scammers and fraudsters, industry is also developing a range of technical responses to reduce Scam Calls.
The new Code has been created by a Communications Alliance Working Committee, chaired by Mr John Laughlin from Telstra and included representatives from Australia’s major telecommunications service providers and from the industry regulator, the ACMA.
The Code sets out a process for identifying, tracing, blocking and otherwise disrupting Scam Calls. The process is built on improved information sharing between Carriers/Carriage Service Providers (C/CSPs) as well as improved information sharing between industry and regulators.
The Code provides a framework for co-operation that industry believes will ultimately lead to the identification of scammers so enforcement action can be taken. “Scamming is a genuine scourge that cost Australians more than half a billion dollars in 2018 and which continues to grow,” said Communications Alliance CEO, John Stanton.
“Unfortunately, a large number of scams are perpetrated via telephone networks, typically by callers from countries outside Australia. This new Code is a very positive effort by industry to reduce the harm that criminal scammers can do to Australian consumers and businesses.”
The draft Code will remain open for public comment until 8 May, after which all the comments and feedback received will be assessed as part of the process of producing a final Code. This will then be submitted to the ACMA for consideration for registration, at which point its provisions will become mandatory and enforceable.
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.
Its vision is to provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.
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