Australian authorities introduce new rules to curb rising SMS scams


Australian authorities have registered a new rule requiring domestic telecommunications companies to identify, track and block SMS fraud to protect their customers.

The latest move by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) was to counter the surge in SMS fraud reported by people.

In addition to blocking fraudulent text messages, new rules developed by ACMA and the industry’s peak Communications Alliance also require carriers to publish information that helps customers manage and report fraud. I am.

In particular, telephone companies are now responsible for sharing fraudulent information with each other and reporting identified frauds to authorities.

According to ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin, the new rules will make it harder for fraudsters to carry out their plans.

“SMS scams are very sophisticated and can have devastating economic and emotional consequences for victims,” ​​she said. statement..

“These fraudulent messages are very frustrating for Australians as they are received on devices that are an integral part of our social and economic life.

“Almost all Australian adults and businesses are affected.”

Australians lost over $ 6.5 million in SMS scams

Data from Scamwatch Australians have shown that they have lost more than $ 6.5 million ($ 4.37 million) in SMS scams so far. This is an increase of 188 percent over the previous year.

In addition, SMS scams accounted for almost one-third of all scams reported in 2022, with total losses incurred by scam victims in excess of $ 257 million.

“You don’t have to screen your messages and adopt workarounds to feel secure and stay connected,” says O’Loughlin.

“There is no silver bullet to stop fraud, but we know that enforceable laws can have a significant impact. All blocked fraud is a win for consumers.”

Meanwhile, Communications Minister Michel Roland said the new rules were well received by the federal government.

“Most Australians have received a fraudulent text message or know someone and know how easy it is to fall into a trap,” she said.

“These new rules are aimed at disrupting fraudsters’ business models, which can protect vulnerable Australians from fraudsters accessing bank accounts, social media and online businesses. increase.”

When the new code goes into effect, Australian authorities will impose a fine of up to $ 250,000 on telephone companies that do not follow the instructions.

Alfred buoy


Alfred Bui is a Melbourne-based Australian reporter with a focus on local and business news. He is a former small business owner and holds two master’s degrees in business and business law. Contact him at [email protected].