The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced new measures for telcos to help protect customers from scams related to SIM swaps. 

The new rules will require teclos to undertake stronger customer identity checks when performing ‘SIM-swap requests, changes to accounts or disclosure of personal information’.

SIM Swap scams involve scammers requesting a SIM card from your provider, which, if issued and activated, can allow them access to your phone call and SMS services and by extension accounts including bank accounts and more usingTwo-Factor Authentication.

SIM Swap Scams have become more of a problem as scammers find new ways to get access to your data, with the ACMA saying the average cost to Aussies being scammed is around $28,000 each.

Chair of the ACMA’s Scam Taskforce Fiona Cameron said

“SIM-swap scams can cause a lot of harm as scammers take control of your phone number and then use that to gain access to your online banking accounts. These new rules require multi-factor authentication of your identity such as confirming personal information and responding with a one-time code consistent with how other essential services like banking operate. We expect these rules will go a long way to stamping out unauthorised transactions like SIM-swap fraud and improve safeguards for telco customers.”

The new rules for telcos will go into effect on June 30, with the ACMA set to use enforcement actions including court proceedings if they’re found to have breached the new rules.