Life-threatening calls | ACMA

Life-threatening calls

A life-threatening communication gives you reasonable ground to believe there’s serious and imminent threat to the life or health of someone and may include:

  • serious personal injury
  • a bomb threat
  • an extortion demand
  • a kidnapping
  • a threat to public safety.

Matters involving threat to someone’s life or health should be immediately reported to the police.

Unwelcome communications

Unwelcome communications are unsolicited and, by virtue of the content, frequency or timing, are offensive or harassing to the recipient. They may be intentional or non-intentional on the part of the sender. For example, non-intentional communications may be repeated calls from an incorrectly programmed fax machine.

Report all unwelcome communications to your service provider with the following details:

  • the time
  • the date
  • approximate duration
  • the content
  • whether it is intentional or unintentional.

You may also consider:

  • using an answering machine or voicemail to screen calls
  • displaying call numbers for call screening
  • not sending SMS or MMS to anyone you want to keep your caller ID from
  • registering with the Do Not Call Register to avoid telemarketing calls and faxes.

Industry codes

The industry code of practice, Handling of Life Threatening and Unwelcome Communications Code C525:2010, covers most communications services but does not include:   

  • communications using a non-public phone number from a country outside of Australia
  • an SMS or MMS sent from a machine or system other than a mobile handset
  • communication from a shared public resource such as a public telephone.

Last updated: 13 February 2019