13 March 2019
An Australian Government project to reduce harmful scam activity has today released its Terms of Reference.
The Scam Technology Project, led by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) with representation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Cyber Security Centre, will explore ways to disrupt scam activity on telco networks.
Chair of the Scam Technology Project Reference Group, Fiona Cameron, said that the project represented a show of unity from Australian government agencies to minimise the scammer scourge.
‘Scam activity is highly organised, increasingly sophisticated and undermines consumer confidence in communications services,’ Ms Cameron said.
‘This project will investigate what can be done to disrupt scam communications activity, including possible consumer or network-based solutions like call blocking and network traffic authentication protocols.’
Recent ACMA research found that more than half of Australian adults have received scam calls daily or weekly. Notably, seven in 10 Australians say they don’t believe enough is being done to protect individuals from scam calls.
Data shared by the ACCC’s Scamwatch service shows that the number of scams being reported, and the amount of money lost to scams is increasing.
Ms Cameron said it’s important for government and industry to respond to consumer concerns and implement a strong action plan.
‘Industry, especially telco service providers, has an important role to play as it is responsible for the delivery of frontline consumer safeguards,’ said Ms Cameron.
‘We need to be better informed and armed to slow down the scammer tide. We also need to be aware that scammers listen and learn, and adapt their behaviour to suit the environment.’
A discussion paper will be released by the ACMA in the coming weeks seeking views from consumers, industry and government. The ACMA will continue to engage with key stakeholders in the coming months, with a final report to be completed in December.
To receive updates about the ACMA’s unsolicited communications activity, subscribe to our e‑bulletin. To report scam activity, go to the Scamwatch website.