Telstra blocks 2.9m scam calls in one month

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Telstra blocks 2.9m scam calls in one month

But says telcos alone can’t solve the scourge.

Telstra blocked 2.9 million “scam calls” in July this year alone, highlighting the need for industry and government to come together on the issue.

But CEO Andy Penn said consumers also needed to play a part in the way they dealt with receiving such calls.

Penn said there had been an “exponential increase in the number of scams targeting Australian consumers.” 

“In many ways they are like whack-a-mole – you thwart one scam and another one pops up,” he said.

“This is no game though - they usually involve a customer getting a call from an overseas country that dials once and hangs up. 

“If the customer calls back they are unwittingly dialling a premium number and will incur significant call costs - and the profits go direct to the scammers and this year they are expected to net more than $500 million from unwary Australian consumers.”

“This is an industry-wide issue of broad community concern and we need industry, government and regulators to work together to address it,” he said.

“For all of this, though, perhaps the most effective response is informed and empowered consumers: consumers who are alive to the risks and part of the response.”

Telstra’s voice and video group owner and executive Paul Kubik said in a blog post last month that the industry generally “is offering many solutions to the issue of scam calling”. 

“SHAKEN/STIR is a certificate-based authentication for IP voice calls equivalent to the HTTPS certificate system on the internet,” he said.

“Combined with real-time call analytics and call blocking capabilities (as well as law enforcement activities), the industry is confident that impact of this scourge can be diminished and eliminated over time.”

US carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile have tested and started to use SHAKEN and STIR to block robocalls.

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