Stolen mobile numbers (unauthorised mobile number porting) | ACMA

Stolen mobile numbers (unauthorised mobile number porting)


Unauthorised mobile number porting is when your personal details are used to port your number from your mobile phone company to another without your consent.

Your stolen mobile number can then be used to receive SMS verification codes to access services such as bank, email, social media accounts, and other services that use SMS verification codes.

How can I tell if my mobile number has been ported without my consent?

If you unexpectedly find that you have no service, it’s possible that your mobile number has been ported to another phone company without your consent.

Signs may include:

  • you are unable to make or receive calls when you usually can
  • you are unable to send or receive SMS’s when you usually can
  • your mobile phone is showing ‘SOS only’, where reception bars usually appear.

If you’re unsure, contact your phone company as soon as possible to check your account and whether any network related incidents have caused the loss of service.

What should I do if my mobile number has been ported without my consent?

You should immediately contact your mobile phone company to request a reversal of the mobile number port. You may also want to consider taking the following steps, as appropriate:

  • If you suspect bank fraud, urgently contact your bank. It is also recommended you immediately change your bank passwords.
  • Check your social media account for unusual activity and change your passwords.
  • Report any fraud to the Australian Federal Police.
  • Contact IDCARE on 1300 432 273 for support and free assistance for identity crime and cyber-related security.

The rules

The Telecommunications Numbering Plan 2015 (numbering plan) sets out the rules for number portability.

The Mobile Number Portability Code (MNP Code) sets out the process that phone companies must follow when porting a mobile number from one phone company to another.

The Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code sets out industry obligations on phone companies to obtain consent from the consumer and use reasonable endeavours to ensure any porting request is from the account holder or their authorised representative.

Who is responsible for the administering the rules?

The operational rules, including the customer authorisation process for mobile number porting, are developed and managed by the telecommunications industry body, Communications Alliance (CA).

The ACMA carries out compliance and enforcement activities under the numbering plan and MNP Code.

The telecommunications industry, through CA, is currently working with the financial sector, to put in place a range of new measures to improve customer security and assist in reducing fraud and unauthorised mobile number porting.

More information

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Last updated: 23 December 2018