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ACMA Cracks Down On SIM-Swap Fraud

The Australian Communications and Media Authority will introduce new rules for mobile providers in a bid to fight against the rising prevalence of SIM-swap fraud.

From June 30, ACMA will require more rigid customer ID checks for SIM-swap requests, changes to phone accounts, and the disclosure of personal information. Scammers use these techniques to retrieve 2FA texts, which are then used to access bank accounts, or other personal services.

“SIM-swap scams can cause a lot of harm as scammers take control of your phone number and then use that to gain access to your online banking accounts,” ACMA Chair Fiona Cameron said.

“These new rules require multi-factor authentication of your identity such as confirming personal information and responding with a one-time code consistent with how other essential services like banking operate.

“We expect these rules will go a long way to stamping out unauthorised transactions like SIM-swap fraud and improve safeguards for telco customers.”

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher (pictured above) called SIM-swap scams “harmful and costly.”

“Consumers should feel safe to engage with their providers without fear of having their private details targeted,” he said.

“The use of multi-factor authentication process is an effective tool in addressing fraud, because scammers might manage to steal one proof of identity such as your PIN, but they still need to obtain and use the other proofs of identity to access your account.”

Over a nine-month period last year, there were 510 incidents of SIM-swap scams in Australia. $4.68 million was scammed including a single reported loss of $463,782.

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