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Collaboration enhances scam call protection for consumers


New Zealand Telecommunications Forum
21 November 2019

MEDIA RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Collaboration between Telco Industry, Government agencies and Netsafe enhances scam call protection for consumers


A collaboration between the telecommunications industry, Government agencies and Netsafe is enabling improved protection from scam calls for consumers.

Scam calls are a growing issue with Kiwis losing hundreds of thousands of dollars to phone scammers each year.
It is not clear to people who they should report scam calls to as numerous organisations receive scam call information from consumers, including CERT NZ, Netsafe, Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) and Inland Revenue (IR).

To streamline the notification and prompt blocking of scam callers, the Telecommunications Forum (TCF) created the Scam Calling Code in August 2018.  The Code formalised a process among the telecommunications providers to notify each other of scam call incidents so they can be blocked across all New Zealand networks.

“The Code has been very successful in allowing the telecommunications industry to block scam calls quickly,” said Geoff Thorn, TCF CEO.

“However, we realised that people were also reporting scam calls to other organisations but that information wasn’t getting passed on to the industry for blocking. In order to block as many scam calls as possible, we recently invited agencies that receive scam call information to sign up to the Code.”

CERT NZ, CFFC, Netsafe and IR have adopted the Code which enables them to send scam call information to the industry for blocking.

“Having so many organisations on board with the process means that no matter who the scam call was reported to, the phone number will be able to be blocked across the entire New Zealand network,” said Thorn.

“This will mean that there will be less scam calls which will reduce the number of Kiwis who get scammed.”

Netsafe CEO Martin Cocker said it’s important to work together to help protect Kiwis and disrupt scam operations.

“This is a really important milestone for New Zealand and we’re proud be a part of the Code,” said Cocker.

Consumers who receive scam calls are urged to report them to their telecommunications retailer, CERT NZ, CFFC, Netsafe or IR.

The information about scam calls that should be reported includes the originating phone number, time, date and nature of the call (e.g. IR scam, technical support or Wangiri).

For further information on how to deal with preventing and reporting scam calls, please visit: https://www.tcf.org.nz/


-ENDS-

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