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Watchdog Warns Telstra, Optus, Medion About Number Porting ID Issues

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued a stern warning to Telstra, Optus and Medion Mobile, after finding they failed to check customer IDs while porting their phone number across to their networks.

Australia’s media watchdog found Telstra had done so on “at least 52 occasions” while Medion did 53 times. Optus only breached the identity verification rules once. If caught again, the telcos will face fines of up to $250,000.

“Historically it has been too easy to transfer phone numbers from one telco to another. All a scammer needed to hijack a mobile number and access personal information like bank details was a name, address and date of birth,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.

“These new rules help prevent scammers from taking control of people’s identities to commit serious financial crimes. We are cracking down on telcos that don’t follow the rules and leave customers vulnerable to identity theft.

“It is important that telcos remain vigilant about protecting their customers through these verification processes.”

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