New industry rules for telcos will help protect consumers from the devastating impact of scams that target customer interactions with providers, which cost individual victims in Australia an average of around $28,000.

The new rules introduced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will require stronger customer identity checks when telcos undertake high-risk transactions such as SIM-swap requests, changes to accounts or disclosure of personal information.

A SIM-swap scam involves a scammer taking control of a consumer’s mobile number by using that individual’s personal details to request a new SIM.

Chair of the ACMA’s scam taskforce Fiona Cameron said the new Telecommunications Service Provider (Customer Identity Authentication) Determination 2022 would come into effect from 30 June 2022.

“SIM-swap scams can cause a lot of harm as scammers take control of your phone number and then use that to gain access to your online banking accounts,” Ms Cameron said.

“These new rules require multi-factor authentication of your identity such as confirming personal information and responding with a one-time code consistent with how other essential services like banking operate.

“We expect these rules will go a long way to stamping out unauthorised transactions like SIM-swap fraud and improve safeguards for telco customers.”

Under the new rules, the ACMA says it will have a range of enforcement actions available for telcos…

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