The ACMA is consulting on proposed new rules to help prevent scammers from targeting high-risk customer interactions with telcos, such as SIM swap requests, changes to accounts and disclosure of personal information.
Unauthorised SIM swap occurs when a customer’s number is transferred to a new SIM in the control of a scammer. ACMA data shows that more than 80% of reported mobile number fraud between January and May 2021 resulted from unauthorised SIM swaps. The ACMA estimates the losses to such fraud to be over $28,000 on average per person.
The draft Telecommunications Service Provider (Customer Identity Verification) Determination 2021 will establish clear and transparent obligations that apply to all carriage service providers across the telco industry. It will require all providers to use additional authorisation processes (such as multi-factor identification) to prevent scammers gaining access to a customer’s device, account or personal information.
The proposal follows rules implemented by the ACMA in 2020 which require telcos to conduct enhanced ID checks before transferring a customer’s phone number. These rules led to a significant drop in mobile porting fraud.
The ACMA is seeking feedback on its proposed rules and welcomes submissions on the draft determination by 15 December 2021.
In the interim, we strongly encourage all telecommunications providers to adopt robust customer identity verification processes as a priority to protect their customers while formal processes to make obligations mandatory and enforceable are underway.