New Sender ID Registry to Fight SMS Scammers

A new registry could make it mandatory for texts to disclose a sender ID in the latest crackdown on SMS scammers in Australia.With more than half of scams originating from text messages, the government is considering whether a registry should be mandatory for all entities that use a sender ID to contact Australian consumers.Sender IDs identify to a consumer who has sent the text message.Scammers often use fraudulent message headers, or sender IDs, to impersonate legitimate brands such as banks, Australia Post, toll providers or government services.Australians lost $3.1 billion to scammers in 2022, after almost two-thirds of the population were exposed to a scam attempt.The registry would create a controlled list of numbers of registered brand names and prevent text messages being sent using registered brand names unless the originating number matches the approved phone number on the registry.Related Stories10/29/2023A pilot was launched in December last year, with Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, the Australian Tax Office, and Services Australia signing up.Participating telcos included Telstra, Optus, TPG Telecom and Pivotal.The telcos are required to block any suspicious messages before they are sent, protecting trusted brand names from being impersonated and consumers from being scammed.The Australian Communications and Media Authority will receive $10 million over four years to launch and maintain the registry.The initiative will complement a multimillion-dollar National Anti-Scams Centre run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission set up in July last year.The centre runs in partnership with government agencies, law enforcement, banks, telecommunications providers, financial services and digital platforms.Losses to scams reduced by 29 percent compared with the same period in 2022 in the six months since the agency was stood up, the government said.A further $17.6 million was given to the Australian Security and Investment Commission in last year’s budget to bust fake investment websites that promote scams.Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said feedback from consumers, businesses, charities and government services will help inform the next phase of the registry, including on whether the scheme should be mandatory.Consultation is open until March 20.According to data published by the National Anti-Scam Centre, older Australians suffer the highest financial loss from scams.In 2023, those over the age of 65 lost $120.9 million.Indigenous Australians were also over-represented, losing $3.7 million largely in identity theft and online shopping.People with English as a second language lost $60.5 million and were susceptible to threat-based scams and unexpected money scams.People with disability were over-represented in health and medical scams and travel digitldqand prize scams, reporting losses of $30.8 million.

New Sender ID Registry to Fight SMS Scammers

A new registry could make it mandatory for texts to disclose a sender ID in the latest crackdown on SMS scammers in Australia.

With more than half of scams originating from text messages, the government is considering whether a registry should be mandatory for all entities that use a sender ID to contact Australian consumers.

Sender IDs identify to a consumer who has sent the text message.

Scammers often use fraudulent message headers, or sender IDs, to impersonate legitimate brands such as banks, Australia Post, toll providers or government services.

Australians lost $3.1 billion to scammers in 2022, after almost two-thirds of the population were exposed to a scam attempt.

The registry would create a controlled list of numbers of registered brand names and prevent text messages being sent using registered brand names unless the originating number matches the approved phone number on the registry.

A pilot was launched in December last year, with Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, the Australian Tax Office, and Services Australia signing up.

Participating telcos included Telstra, Optus, TPG Telecom and Pivotal.

The telcos are required to block any suspicious messages before they are sent, protecting trusted brand names from being impersonated and consumers from being scammed.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority will receive $10 million over four years to launch and maintain the registry.

The initiative will complement a multimillion-dollar National Anti-Scams Centre run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission set up in July last year.

The centre runs in partnership with government agencies, law enforcement, banks, telecommunications providers, financial services and digital platforms.

Losses to scams reduced by 29 percent compared with the same period in 2022 in the six months since the agency was stood up, the government said.

A further $17.6 million was given to the Australian Security and Investment Commission in last year’s budget to bust fake investment websites that promote scams.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said feedback from consumers, businesses, charities and government services will help inform the next phase of the registry, including on whether the scheme should be mandatory.

Consultation is open until March 20.

According to data published by the National Anti-Scam Centre, older Australians suffer the highest financial loss from scams.

In 2023, those over the age of 65 lost $120.9 million.

Indigenous Australians were also over-represented, losing $3.7 million largely in identity theft and online shopping.

People with English as a second language lost $60.5 million and were susceptible to threat-based scams and unexpected money scams.

People with disability were over-represented in health and medical scams and travel digitldqand prize scams, reporting losses of $30.8 million.