Australian Government tackling scams to keep Australians safe
Over 192 million scam calls have been blocked between January and March 2023 and another 82.3 million scam text messages halted in their tracks according to figures released today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
The figures reveal that the Reducing Scam Calls and Scam SMS industry code has been effective in reducing the number of scam calls and SMS messages received by Australians.
The Reducing Scam Calls and Scam SMS industry code places obligations on carriage service providers (CSPs) to report to the ACMA blocked scam calls and SMS during each quarter.
It also requires SMS service providers to identify, trace and block suspected SMS scams, and to conduct checks on organisations using text-based sender IDs.
The code delivered good results in the most recent quarter. From 1 January – 31 March 2023:
- Blocked scam call figures rose by at least 23% on the previous quarter.
- Blocked scam SMS figures rose by at least 100% on the previous quarter
The 2023-24 Federal Budget outlined $10.9 million to be delivered to the ACMA to design a SMS Sender ID Registry, along with another $58.0 million for the establishment of the National Anti-Scam Centre in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The Registry will help prevent scammers from imitating key industry or government brand names – such as Linkt or myGov – in text message headers, with the National Anti-Scam Centre working closely with law enforcement, telecommunication providers, digital platforms and others to share scam intelligence, target priority scams and raise awareness.
These measures will help to make significant inroads in halting illegal activity - Australians reported at least $3.1 billion in scam losses in 2022, an 80 per cent increase on total losses recorded in 2021.
The Albanese Government is delivering on its commitment to combat these scams and protect Australians with funding for a comprehensive package of anti-scam measures.
For information on how to spot – and stop – phone scams, visit https://www.acma.gov.au/node/2873
Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“The Reducing Scam Calls and Scam SMS industry code is an important step in protecting Australians from scams.
“As scams continue to evolve, the Australian Government, ACMA and industry stakeholders remain committed to adapt and improve our approach to keep up with new threats.
“The Australian public should also remain vigilant and I would encourage all Australians to do their bit to halt scammers in their tracks by supporting vulnerable people in particular while the government continues to implement measures like the new Registry and Scam Centre.”