New rules for mobile providers concerning tracing and blocking spam text messages have been rolled out after duped Aussies lost $10 million to text message scammers in 2021. Hopefully, this means our phones are no longer gonna blow up with incessant pings from definitely fake numbers.
Per the ABC, the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) brought in requirements for telephone companies on Tuesday morning. It rules that providers will have to identify, trace and block text scams and report them to authorities. The new rules also require telcos to share information with other providers on scams they’ve picked up.
Goodbye to those weird-ass messages about a “parcel” I didn’t order that “can’t be delivered” and the definitely-not-suss link to get it “redirected”. I hardly knew (or frankly cared about) thee.
Apparently more than 67,000 scammy texts were reported in Australia over 2021. And that’s only the reported ones. I can’t even imagine how many more were flying around and simply ignored by whoever they hit (read: me).
If telcos don’t comply with these new ACMA rules — which are similar to the ones that helped stamp out spammy calls in 2020 — they face fines of up to $250,000.
Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said these new rules should help protect vulnerable people (AKA our relatives who love to click on links) from being targeted by scammers.
“Most Australians have either received a scam text message, or know someone who has, and know how easy it can be to fall into the trap,” she said.
“These new rules aim to disrupt scammers’ business models, which will help to protect vulnerable Australians against scammers accessing their bank account, social media and online businesses.”