New rules help block SMS Scams
Nearly 48 million scam texts have been blocked since new rules were introduced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in July this year to combat the growing scourge of scams.
The new rules – which require telcos to identify, trace and block SMS scams – were developed in response to evidence that SMS scams are increasing in prevalence and impact.
Combatting SMS scams was recently announced by ACMA as one of seven priority areas for compliance in 2022-23 due to the potential financial and social harm they can cause to the Australian community.
According to Scamwatch data, SMS scams reported to Scamwatch have already cost Australians approximately $17 million in 2022.
Under the rules, telcos must also publish information to assist their customers to proactively manage and report SMS scams, share information about scam messages with other telcos and report identified scams to authorities.
As part of national Scams Awareness Week, ACMA revealed the top 5 reported phone scams to the agency, which includes banking/finance impersonation via SMS.
The Australian Government is committed to combatting scams. We are:
- Delivering on our election pledge to establish a National Anti-Scam Centre;
- Delivering on our election pledge to double funding for identity recovery services;
- Fixing outdated privacy laws, with legislation already introduced to significantly increase penalties for serious data breaches; and
- Introducing tough new industry codes on telcos, finance and social media platforms to improve safety standards, increase cooperation and reduce economic crime.
For more information on how to identify and report a scam, visit: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/
For more information on phone scams, visit: https://www.acma.gov.au/scams-and-online-misinformation
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:
“Most Australians have either received a scam text message, or know someone who has, and know how easy it can be to fall into the trap.
“The rules introduced by ACMA in July have already helped block SMS scams, which helps protect Australians.
“The Albanese Government will continue to work towards disrupting scammers’ business models, which will help to protect vulnerable Australians against scammers accessing their bank account, social media and online businesses.