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Friday, 03 July 2020 11:41

Compliance checks on mobile providers over porting scams Featured

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The Federal Government has warned that the telecommunications regulator ACMA is actively undertaking compliance checks to ensure mobile providers are complying with new measures and standards designed to protect Australians from fraud and identity theft, including mobile porting scams.

The standard makes it mandatory for stronger identity checking, including multifactor authentication – to safeguard against mobile numbers being fraudulently ported or transferred, and provide protection from significant financial losses.

In February this year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) made new rules mandating stronger identity verification processes be put in place by telcos before mobile numbers can be ported.

The Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher  issued a statement on Friday reminding mobile providers that they are required to comply with the new measures, put in place at the direction of the Morrison Government.

Fletcher noted in his statement that the ACMA has enforcement powers to issue formal warnings or civil penalties of up to $250,000 to non-compliant mobile providers, and that the ACMA are “undertaking compliance activity in this area and will pursue enforcement as required”.

He warned that mobile porting fraud is used by malicious third-party actors to “hijack” a person’s mobile phone number and gain access to their bank accounts and other applications containing sensitive information or capable of receiving personal information.

“The Morrison Government is working to protect Australians from scammers and we take our response to combatting scams extremely seriously. This new regulation is a strong step forward in preventing mobile porting fraud,” Fletcher said.

 The standard is part of the government’s Combating Scams Action Plan.

In May this year, the Government announced the “success” of the Australian Taxation Office number spoofing trial undertaken as part of its Combating Scams Action Plan and accompanies an industry code to reduce scams, which is being developed by telecommunications industry lobby group Communications Alliance.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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