PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT ON NEW INDUSTRY INITIATIVE TO COMBAT SCAM TEXT MESSAGES

Sydney, 9 February 2022 – 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.

ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
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.

The most influential association in Australian communications, co-operatively initiating programs that promote sustainable industry development, innovation and growth, while generating positive outcomes for customers and society.  To create a co-operative stakeholder environment that allows the industry to take the lead on initiatives which grow the Australian communications industry, enhance the connectivity of all Australians and foster the highest standards of business behaviour.  For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Sefiani
Neeley Williams nwilliams@sefiani.com.au
0434 742 551