Following recent reports of scam calling activity, the NZ Telecommunications Forum (TCF) has today released a draft Scam Calling Prevention Code for public consultation, formalising a range of processes in place for the telco industry to deal with instances of scam callers.
“The industry has been working together for several years, sharing information to help prevent instances of scams recurring” says Geoff Thorn, TCF CEO. “The Scam Calling Prevention Code drafted by the TCF reinforces and standardises the processes already in place, to help the industry react more quickly to any incidence of fraud reported by the public, and block calls from numbers used by scammers. The draft code also provides for sharing information with third parties where it is appropriate.”
The code has been developed by the TCF in conjunction with network operators who provide landline and mobile services, including 2degrees, Spark, Symbio Wholesale, TNZI, Vocus and Vodafone. Once in place, it will create a consistent approach to identifying, verifying and blocking scam calls. It’s anticipated to reduce the number of instances of scam calls received by consumers, while minimising the impact of traffic monitoring on legitimate calls.
But Thorn warns the code is not a solution guaranteed to end all instances of scam calling. “Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach” says Thorn. “Often, they have access to personal information obtained through third party sources and may use advanced systems to make it appear as though they are calling from a genuine NZ phone number. The telco industry can only do so much to monitor what phone services are being used for.”
“It’s still up to members of the public to alert their service provider to any suspicious calls. Consumers also need to proceed with caution when receiving calls claiming to be from a telco provider, IT company or Government agency, asking for personal or financial information. We advise against giving access to personal information over the phone in these instances.”
A copy of the Draft Code is available at tcf.org.nz/scamcalls. The finalised code is expected to be in force by July 2018.
For more information, please contact: Geoff Thorn, TCF, CEO
Ph: +64 21 937 920 | Email: Geoff.firstname.lastname@example.org