The Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA) has today released a list of the top five phone scams most commonly reported to the agency in a bid to raise people’s awareness of scams during the Christmas period.
NBN impersonations were revealed as by far the most reported scam for 2019, followed by scammers pretending to offer technical support for your computer, which they often claim has a virus. Together, the top five scams accounted for 87 per cent of scam reported to the ACMA.
ACMA Authority member Fiona Cameron also warned people to be vigilant against SMS phishing scams targeting Australia Post customers.
“We have seen a spike in this scam during the lead up to Christmas and we are working with telcos to tackle the problem,” Ms Cameron said.
“It comes in the form of a text message which appears to come from Australia Post, claiming there is problem with delivery of a package.
“The SMS includes a link to a fake Australia Post website that will ask for your personal and financial details.
“If you receive a suspicious SMS messages, delete the message and do not click the link.”
Ms Cameron said the ACMA is ramping up its action to combat phone scams in 2020.
“The top three on the list are all impersonation scams that many people will be familiar with,” she said.
“The ACMA’s new Combatting Scams Action Plan is designed to reduce the number of scam calls Australians receive.
“The project will put enforceable obligations on telco providers to share data and work together to identify and block scam calls like these ones.
“There will also be a trial that will identify where high volumes of scam calls are coming from, and have Australian carriers work with their international counterparts to block those calls.
“We are confident that we can significantly reduce these scams in a bid to protect Australia.”
Ms Cameron said anyone who is receiving scam calls has a number of steps they can take.
“If you think a call is suspect, don’t engage, instead hang up, block the number and report the call to Scamwatch.
“If you are unsure whether a call is a scam or not, hang up and contact the organisation the caller claims to be from to verify the details.”
For more about scams in Australia, or to report a scam to visit the Scamwatch website.
The ACMA also receives complaints about SMS and telemarketing scams due to its role enforcing spam and telemarketing laws.
ACMA Media Release 49/2019
For more information, please contact ACMA Media on 0438 375 776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.