- The chair of the Australian Communications and Media Authority, Nerida O’Loughlin, recently acknowledged the “impressive work” of the telecom sector in pursuing to combat scams.
- The chair also detailed the next steps that the regulator expects to see from the telco industry.
- O’Loughlin also said that initiatives such as the cross-sector scams taskforce and new rules around mobile porting made a significant impact.
The chair of the Australian Communications and Media Authority, Nerida O’Loughlin, recently acknowledged the “impressive work” of the telecom sector in pursuing to combat scams. The chair also detailed the next steps that the regulator expects to see from the telco industry.
According to O’Loughlin, an immediate focus of ACMA in this area would be the new customer authentication rules that will kick in towards the end of June, with the regulator expecting “concerted efforts” by the telco industry to “implement compliance systems without delay, building on existing processes and/or efforts that have already commenced.”
O’Loughlin also said that initiatives such as the cross-sector scams taskforce and new rules around mobile porting made a significant impact.
“These interventions have seen well over half-a-billion scam calls blocked by telcos in the first 16 months of the Reducing Scam Calls Code operating, and around a 95% decrease in reported mobile porting fraud,” she said.
“And we hope to see a similar drop-off in SIM-swap scams after our new rules come into effect on the 30th of June.”
According to the ACMA chair, while there had been “some wins”, the regulator didn’t believe that “set and forget industry efforts and regulatory obligations” will successfully address the problem.
She proceeded on to say that the regulator would like to see the telco industry prioritise approaches in finalising the revised reducing scam calls and scam SMS codes for a potential registration.
In addition to this, O’Loughlin said that ACMA wanted to see telcos “actively staying on top of new international and domestic provider-level initiatives, including whether STIR-SHAKEN protocols should be adopted in Australia.” Meanwhile, TPG Telecom raised the question of potentially rolling out STIR-SHAKEN at a recent scams task force meeting.
Some of the other priorities detailed include the ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of rules that have so far been introduced, increased take-up by “trusted brands” of Do Not Originate, further customer education, as well as increased collaboration and data sharing between the finance and telecom sectors.
In terms of the latter, telcos and the financial sector “need to better share data and work together to mutually protect their customers,” she said.
“The ACMA obtains data from both sectors that we believe would be of utility to the other sectors. This proposal is also being actively taken forward by Comms Alliance under our Scams Taskforce, where the telco and financial sectors both have seats at the table.”
Finally, the regulator is also keen to see telcos develop their ability to identify and block spam, “specifically, via automation, filtering, and notification or traceback initiatives.”