‘Telcos Must Pull Their Weight’ Govt. Launches New Crackdown On Mobile Phone Number Scams
The Morrison Government is introducing new regulations for Australia’s telcos, aimed at combating what’s perceived to be a growing threat of mobile phone numbers being hijacked by fraudsters.
The move was announced yesterday by Comms and Cyber Safety Minister Paul Fletcher, who spent the morning divulging the new program on various TV shows, as well as addressing a media contingent outside Parliament House. He said the Government plans to introduce new telco regulations which will mandate stronger industry-wide identity verification measures before mobile numbers can be transferred from one provider to another.
He said a number of Australian telcos, including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, have already introduced stronger preport verification measures. However, telcos representing more than one million mobile services are yet to implement these consumer safeguards.
“The Government expects all telcos to pull their weight. I want Australians to be confident that every telco has put in place strong verification processes to stop fraudulent mobile number porting and the devastating consequences it can have for victims,” the minister said.
“That is why I have issued a formal direction to the Australian Communications and Media Authority to make new rules mandating stronger identity verification processes before mobile numbers can be transferred. The entire industry needs to put in place a solution – otherwise those telcos without safeguards in place will be a magnet for fraudsters.”
The Government has also set up a Scam Technology Project, led by ACMA which is said to be working with experts from Australia’s major telecommunications companies, charged with developing technology-based systems to combat the telco scams.