Jun 30 2022
Scam calls are on the increase and scammers are becoming better at it. In most cases, scam calls originate from overseas. However, more scammers are spoofing, a way to hide an international number with an Australian one.
Scam calls include late tax bills, recent accidents or other ploys that may be related to everyday incidents that you may feel are relevant to you.
What is being done about it?
Lee Watson, a communications expert from Nehos Communications, said Legislation in Australia regarding scam call management was implemented in October 2020 and gained more attention in 2021, however, it “had little effect.”
“Towards the end of 2021, Telstra was taking a front-foot approach along with several other Telco’s where they were capturing suspect calls and providing warnings to their wholesale providers. Though this has had some positive impact this is complex and could affect legitimate calls was not enforced,” he said.
“Earlier in 2022, the Australian industry Regulator invited all Interested parties including telcos to share feedback and influence future “Reducing Scam Calls” code. 24 companies commented.
As a result, a new Industry code is expected in the coming months. The hope is that once implemented this will effectively target and combat scams”.
What does this all mean?
Enforcement. “When an entity makes a call through the service provider, the advertised number should be valid and hosted/held by the respective service provider. If not, the call should be rejected. This should have a positive impact on our domestic market.”
“International numbers showing from callers is more of a longer-term concern as we have little control, and these rely on the overseas telco management and their own numbering systems.
One thing to note for those receiving Domestic calls in Australia is – telephone numbers that can be displayed are ALL either 10-digit Geographic numbers OR 10-digit Mobile numbers.
13/1300 or 1800 number are NOT permitted and is illegal. If you receive a call showing this, it should be reported to your service provider.
What can you do?
The Do Not Call register is a great resource to remove yourself from legitimate call centres or with few exceptions from other unsolicited organisations. It can take a month after you register your number(s), but it certainly works. There are severe penalties for companies that call numbers that are registered.”
Unfortunately, the best defence is not to answer these calls. If you receive an SMS with a link on it, do not click the link. These links download enormous amounts of malware. Ignore and delete the any message you do not recognise.
If you are concerned that you have already clicked one of these links, you can discuss it with your IT professional and they can closely check your devices for malware and ensure you are safe.