Over 1 billion telco scams have been blocked over the last 12 months, with the federal government highlighting industry rules as the main vanguard.
During the 12 months to July 2023, the office for the Minister of Communications claimed the 1 billion figure included over 256 million scam calls and 85 million scam texts, which were caught within the last quarter alone.
With the scam call datapoint alone, this is 33 per cent more scam calls blocked over the three-month period than the previous quarter.
Additionally, the office cited new data released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), claiming that the ‘Reducing Scam Calls and Scam SMS industry code’ is effective at stopping scams.
“Disrupting scammers is a whole-ofgGovernment and industry effort. These syndicates are sophisticated, and all Australians need to remain vigilant,” said the Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland.
“It’s pleasing to see that one billion telecommunications scams never met their intended target this past year.”
Rowland added the federal government’s commitment to stopping new scam threats was also seen with its $10 million in funding for an SMS sender ID registry, which was announced prior to the 2023-24 budget.
Set to be introduced via phases before rolling out industry-wide, the aim of the registry is to disrupt text messaging scams by stopping the imitation of key industry or government brand names.
In a hypothetical example, the government said the registry would allow AusPost to register its sender ID, with telcos then blocking illegitimate incoming messages that also try to use that sender ID.
The federal government also added that its Australian Competition and Consumer Commission- (ACCC) led National Anti-Scam Centre, which was announced in November 2022 and was allocated $86.5 million in the 2023-24 budget, has also helped curb threats by sharing scam intelligence, targeting priority scams and raising awareness.