Llew O'Brien welcomes Action Plan to combat phone scams

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Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O'Brien has welcomed a new action plan to combat unwanted telephone calls by working with the telecommunications industry to stop scammers from operating over phone networks.

The Combatting Scams: Action plan was released by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) this week after being signed off by Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts the Hon Paul Fletcher MP.

"I've received numerous complaints by people in Wide Bay regarding the rising amount of scam calls that they've received," Mr O'Brien said.

"These criminals target some of the most vulnerable people in our country. They are a genuine inconvenience at the very least, and at worst, they can pose a significant threat  or cost significant amounts of money."

Three trials will be conducted to help stop common phone scams and techniques.

The first trial is already underway and involves telcos identifying and blocking calls by scammers that appear to come from a well-known Australian organisation. There have been numerous reports in recent months of scammers using phone numbers from organisations such as the Australian Taxation Office and NBN Co.

The next two trials will begin in the first quarter of 2020, and will focus on stopping scam calls that try to entice Australians to call expensive premium numbers by leaving a missed call on their mobile phone. They will also crack down on networks that have a high volume of scam traffic.

"The goal of these trials is to allow Australians to trust that when their phone rings, they know it's a call that they want to receive," Mr O'Brien said.

"The Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to stopping crime and preserving the security and privacy of all Australians, and I look forward to seeing the results of these trials."

A summary of the report is available on the ACMA website.

 
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