News measures to stop mobile phone number fraud

23 Jul 2020

Posted October 18, 2019

Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has welcomed the Government’s decision to introduce tougher identification measures to stop fraudsters hijacking people’s mobile phone numbers.

The new regulations mandate stricter security measures before mobile numbers can be transferred from one provider to another.

Australia’s biggest telecommunication companies have already implemented their own stricter security measures but smaller companies representing more than a million customers are yet to do so, increasing the risk of scammers stealing numbers so they can access people’s bank accounts and other personal information.

“Telecommunication scams are a distressingly common issue in my community so I am really pleased that the Government have made these measures enforceable to all phone companies and that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has identified this as a priority issue,” Rebekha said.

“Identity theft can impact peoples’ lives for years so the Government needs to act quickly to close all the loopholes fraudsters use to take advantage of vulnerable Australians.

“This measure only deals with authentication when transferring phone numbers.

“It doesn’t deal with the practice known as ‘spoofing’ where scammers disguise their phone number’s caller ID and pretend to be from the Australian Tax Office for example.

“However, I am advised that the Government and ACMA are working on an action plan to combat scams.

“That plan, known as the Scam Technology Project, is due to hand down its findings to the Communications Minister Paul Fletcher later in the year.”

In the meantime, Rebekha is hosting a scam information session in Victor Harbor on Wednesday, November 6.

The event is being held at the Gospel Centre, 2pm to 3.30pm, and will feature guest speakers from NBN Co, Telstra and local police.

If you think you have been a victim of phone number fraud, contact your mobile service provider and financial institution immediately.

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