When the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) introduced new rules requiring telcos to do more to detect, trace and block scam calls at the end of last year over 55 million calls have been blocked – a staggering number.

The new code, called the “Reducing Scam Calls” code was developed by the telco industry after ACMA released an action plan regarding the high number of scam calls being received by Aussie consumers.

Having put in place systems and technology to detect and block to calls, over a staggering average of over 600,000 calls per day are being blocked.

The bulk of those calls are spoofed numbers or made up numbers calling aussies, while nearly 11 million of what are known as “wangiri” scams were blocked – those are when you get a quick missed call from an international number, that costs you a packet when you call it back.

Fiona Cameron, Chair of the ACMA’s Scam Telecommunications Action Taskforce was glad to see the code doing it’s job

“Each scam call blocked is one less potential victim and a step towards rebuilding confidence for Australians that it’s safe to answer a ringing phone,” Ms Cameron said.

“I am pleased to see the code having a real impact in its initial months, particularly in busting the ‘one ring’ Wangiri and Calling Line ID spoofing scams. 

“However, this isn’t a silver bullet. We are seeing scammers become increasingly sophisticated so it’s important that telcos stay vigilant and keep up the fight.

“We expect to see the number of blocked scam calls increase as telcos enhance their technology and capability to protect their customers.

“Consumers also play their part in stopping scammers. If something sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. If someone you’ve never heard from is asking for your personal details, it’s probably a scam. The best thing you can do is hang up,” she said.

It’s a critical code and action by telcos, with scam calls costing Aussies over $48 million in 2020 alone, and Phone scams account for 48% of all scams being reported.