Fri, 03 Jul 2020 - 10:50
Viewed 125 times

Media Release: Protecting Australians from mobile porting scams

Mobile providers are required to comply with new measures designed to protect Australians from fraud and identity theft, which was put in place at the direction of the Morrison Government.

The standard makes it mandatory for stronger identity checking, including multifactor authentication – to safeguard against mobile numbers being fraudulently ported or transferred. The new measures will protect Australians from significant financial losses.

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.

In February 2020, 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 new rules came as a result of a direction from the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP.

The ACMA has enforcement powers to issue formal warnings or civil penalties of up to $250,000 to non-compliant mobile providers. The ACMA are undertaking compliance activity in this area and will pursue enforcement as required.

“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,” Minister Fletcher said.

The standard is part of the Government’s Combating Scams Action Plan. In May 2020, the Government announced the success of the Australian Taxation Office number spoofing trial undertaken as part of the Government’s Combating Scams Action Plan and accompanies an industry code to reduce scams, which is being developed by Communications Alliance.

For more information on the Telecommunications (Mobile Number Pre-porting Additional Identity Verification) Industry Standard 2020 go to www.acma.gov.au.