Reducing scam calls

In December 2020, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released the CA C661:2020 ‘Reducing Scam Calls’ Code (Code). The Code sets out requirements that telcos like Vocus need to adhere to for identifying, tracing, blocking and reporting scam calls.

The Code allows telcos to identify the legitimacy of calls, and trace and block scam calls on their networks. All telcos are also required to share information on scam calls, which means as an industry, we can reduce the amount of scam calls targeting Australians.

How can I detect a scam call?

With scammers becoming more sophisticated, calls can sometimes appear to originate from a credible source such as a government agency or other well-known organisations. Go with your first instinct and never respond to a request for personal or account information, demand for immediate payment or remote access to a device. Although these calls can appear to be genuine, credible sources generally don’t ask for this type of information over the phone, so it is important to be vigilant. Scammers may also: 

  • Claim that you have won a prize
  • Use a well-known logo or send a text message that appears to be legitimate
  • Call multiple times
  • Use a recorded message to urge you to return the call.

How can I protect myself from scam calls?

If something doesn’t look or sound right, or if something is too good to be true, it usually is. To help safeguard yourself, you should:

  • Block any callers on your phone that you suspect to be a scam call
  • If you don’t know the number, let the call go through to voicemail in the first instance. Then check if the number is from a credible source by searching for the organisation’s official number online before returning the call
  • Be careful where you share any personal information in an online setting such as social media
  • Avoid clicking on any unknown links in text messages.

What is Vocus doing?

  • We have made changes to our voice products to ensure we comply with the Code, including updating our product information
  • We have updated information in our contracts to comply with the Code
  • We have updated processes to actively monitor our networks for scam calls
  • We will be actively blocking calls identified as scam calls as outlined in the Code
  • We will be actively reporting on and sharing information on scam calls that come into the Vocus network with other telcos and ACMA.

More detailed information is available in the CA C661:2020 Reducing Scam Calls Code and CA G664:2020 Reducing Scam Calls – Supplementary Information Industry Guideline.

How do I report a scam call?

You can contact Vocus directly or make a report to Scamwatch, a division of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Where can I find more information?

In addition to Scamwatch, the following agencies provide helpful material on scam calls: