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Working together to reduce international phone scam calls to New Zealand.

What it is

The purpose of the Phone Blocking Working Party is to develop an industry code of practice for network operators to identify, verify and take action on scam calls to landlines and mobile phones.

Background

New Zealand, like many other countries, is targeted by off-shore based phone scammers calling or texting national landline and mobile users.

The scammers attempt to persuade anyone who answers their call, or receives their text, to cooperate in some way.

Their objective is to extract funds from the recipient by deception, and transfer it to the scammer’s bank account.

Deliverables

  • A Code detailing the agreed process for identifying and blocking international scam traffic targeting New Zealand customers - complete .
  • Consultation with interested parties on the draft Code - complete.
  • Implementation plan and agreed reporting metrics, if any - complete.
  • Ongoing discussion forum - underway.

Code endorsed

Following a period of public consultation and consideration of submissions received, the TCF has endorsed and published The Code and invites Network Operators to sign up to it. The Working Party will continue to meet periodically to review advances in technology that may assist in preventing scam calls and making further recommendations to the TCF Board where appropriate.

Proposed Amendment Re: Privacy Obligations – For Public Consultation

In August 2018, the TCF published a Scam Calling Code (Code) which provides a formal process for telecommunications industry participants to share information about scam calls and actively block them.  It relies on verified information being passed between signatories which they can trust and act on.

As part of continued discussions following the implementation of the Code,  it has been proposed that the Scam Call Code be amended to reinforce obligations to comply with privacy law.  While compliance with laws is implicit and already a legal requirement, the TCF considers is appropriate to reinforce that sharing of information to enable blocking of scam calls remains within legally permitted parameters.

As a result, the TCF is proposing a number of minor  changes to the Code that appear as tracked amendments in the attached version of the Code (Proposed Amendments). As described above, the amendments ensure specific reference to and obligations in relation to compliance with New Zealand privacy legislation. The Proposed Amendments have been agreed with the Scam Call Prevention Working Party and the TCF’s Policy Committee, subject to public consultation and TCF Board approval, the latter of which will be sought after the period of public consultation has concluded. 

Public consultation on the proposed amendments has now closed.

If approved by the TCF Board, a revised version of the Code will be published on the TCF’s website.

Who it applies to

  • Network Operators

Who it affects

  • Landline and mobile phone customers
  • Network operators

Date established

June 2017


Working Party Members

Looking for something else?

Advice for consumers

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Last Modified On Thursday, 12 September 2019