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Communications Fraud

Scam Calls Code successfully blocks over 200 million scam calls

2 min read
Scam Calls Code successfully blocks over 200 million scam calls

It has been reported that 214 million scam calls have been blocked since the Reducing Scam Calls Code, which requires telcos to detect, trace and block scam calls, was introduced in December 2020. 

The Reducing Scam Calls Code was announced in November 2019 as a key measure under the Combatting Scams Action Plan. It was developed by the telco industry and registered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), helping telcos by setting out a process in handling scam calls. 

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts Paul Fletcher said the reported amount of blocked calls was proof that the Reducing Scam Calls Code was working. 

“Scam calls are a serious problem. At best, scam calls are annoying. At worst, scam calls can have damaging financial consequences for victims,” Minister Fletcher said. 

Among the reports of phone scam calls, it was seen that these three types of phone scams were the most commonly occurring ones: 

  • Australian Tax Office scam calls — Australians have reported receiving calls that presumably came from a legitimate phone number used by the ATO. This method is called “overstamping” or “spoofing”.
  • Wangiri scam calls — ‘Wangiri’, Japanese for “one ring and drop’, would force victims to call back to an international number after receiving a missed call. This then causes them to be charged at a premium rate.
  • International scam calls — Reports to ScamWatch have shown that a majority of phone scam calls have originated from overseas. 

In 2021, over 83,000 Australians have reported being scammed to ScamWatch, losing more than $52 million to phone scams. 

More than 159 million scam calls were stopped between March and June 2021. More than 75 million of these were ‘spoofing’ scam calls, while 23 million were Wangiri scam calls. 



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