Australia and US to collaborate in the fight against phone scams
It is expected that Australia and the United States will now work together more closely to combat unlawful robocalls, unsolicited texts and phone scams.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had their respective communications regulators sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) just last week.
The Memorandum of Understanding will ensure that the two countries will share intelligence, assist each other during investigations and coordinate enforcement against cross-border entities.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding builds on the strong strategic and working relationship fostered between the ACMA and FCC in the regulation of unsolicited communications.
“Scam activity has a significant social and economic impact on consumers, with the scale and sophistication of malicious activity increasing,” ACMA Chair O’Loughlin said.
“This agreement will see us working even more closely with our American counterparts to crack down on unsolicited communications in instances where cross-border issues are involved.”
FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said robocall scams are a global problem that will require global commitment and cooperation.
“With these irritating calls coming from near and far, we need international cooperation, information sharing, and enforcement to address this matter,” Chairwoman Rosenworcel said.
“I want to thank our Australian friends for working with us on this agreement. By joining together we can help get these scammers off of our networks and protect consumers and businesses around the world.”
The disruption of phone scams is a 2021-22 compliance priority for the ACMA.
In March, it was revealed that 55 million scam calls to Australian phone numbers had been blocked. This was because ACMA enforced new rules requiring the country’s telcos to detect, trace and block scam calls in December 2020.
The full MOU, entitled Mutual Assistance in the Enforcement of Laws on certain unlawful communications, has been published on the ACMA website.