YOU’VE likely noticed an increase in scam SMS messages on your phone lately – it is, after all, incredibly annoying to have a gaming session interrupted by dodgy text messages with phishing or malware links in them.
That’s to say nothing of the threat they pose to younger or not tech-savvy people who might click on the links in the messages or fall for the scams they are part of.
The Australian telecommunications industry has certainly noticed too the issue too, and industry representative body The Communications Alliance has released a public discussion draft of an updated Reducing Scam Calls Code, the currently enforceable version of which was registered by ACMA in 2020.
The existing Code has certainly made a significant impact on scam telephone calls – the Communications Alliance says the industry has already blocked more than 350 million scam calls to Australians and continues to block millions more each month.
However, there has been an increasing focus from scammers on dodgy SMS messages during the pandemic, with Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton saying around 20% of all network-based scam activity was coming from scam text messages.
“These new tools will help service providers fight what is a distressful scourge on Australian consumers,” he said.
“This type of fraud may see consumers being asked to click on a link or call back a 1800 number. With more consumers having worked from home and receiving home deliveries, scammers have taken to sending messages impersonating messages from delivery companies and enticing consumers to click on fraudulent web links.
“We’ve all received them – they are annoying, but also dangerous if the consumer falls for the ruse.”
The revised Code features improved tracing and reporting measures for scam messages, along with additions dealing with the identification, tracing, and blocking of numbers associated with SMS scams.
The draft Code will remain open for public comment until 11 March 2022, whereupon the comments and feedback will be assessed by the Communications Alliance as part of the production and submission to ACMA of a final draft Code for registration consideration.
A copy of the draft Code is available here: