New rules to stop scam callers hassling you


Scam callers have stolen more than $35 million from Aussies so far this year.

But new rules now in force will require telcos to detect, trace and block the sinister calls.

They will also be required to publish information to help customers manage and report scam calls, share scam details with other telcos and report identified scams to authorities.

Telcos will face penalties of up to $250,000 for breaching directions to comply with the new code.

"Scam calls are a serious problem, and can have damaging financial consequences for victims," Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said.

"The Reducing Scam Calls Code will work alongside the other measures we have announced to tackle scams."


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The Australian Communications and Media Authority registered the new rules on Wednesday.

Australians this year have lost $35.6 million to scam calls and frauds, including ATO scams, missed calls from international numbers and overseas scams.

Scam Telecommunications Action Taskforce chair Fiona Cameron said the code puts clear obligations on industry to do more to protect their customers and build confidence that it is safe to answer a ringing phone.

"(Scammers) quickly adapt to changing circumstances, as we have seen, for example, in scam activity targeting Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic," Ms Cameron said.

"The end game is to stop scammers in their tracks wherever possible, and the ACMA will enforce this code to make sure telcos are meeting their obligations to their customers."

Scam calls make up almost half of scams reported to the ACCC's ScamWatch.

Originally published as New rules to stop scam callers hassling you