Labor Proposes Anti-scam Centre

Not before time.

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An easier solution is make social media responsible for advertisements they display on their platforms. If they breach Australia’s Codes and Regulations, enforcement action can be taken against the platforms.

Unfortunately the platforms wash their hands of any responsibility. This could be changed very easily through amendment to the existing codes and regulations…and would negate the requirement for a special ‘anti-spam centre’, which is likely to as strong as many other government run consumer based agencies.

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Short of detail about how this could be effective, but at least it is being talked about.

I like the way a number of countries have banded together recently to use their technical law agency resourses to go after and put out of business ransomware scammers.

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Absolutely. this is a great idea. There is so much time wasted having to answer telephones to idiots at the other end who are they haven’t got the guts to speak and simply hang up or try and bore you with lies and endless drivel.

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Welcome to the Choice Community Ron.

It may be a great idea if setting up such a centre will unearth a technological solution to spam/scam calls. At the moment it seems there is nothing really effective.

It isn’t a matter of guts it is how the call centres work. Their computer is constantly calling numbers during the operating hours. If when you answer all their people are busy on calls the computer drops the call.

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Great idea. Social media won’t don’t, so if our government can lead the way, food other, providing Labor win the election!

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But making social media accountable for their advertising doesn’t stop phone scammers which are a completely different problem.

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Unfortunately a call centre won’t have any effect in reducing or stopping phone call scams (calls or text messages) or their victims. Indicating such will occur is political spin creating false hopes.

It is worth reading some of the other threads in the community about phone scammers, methods used and limited ability to block these scammers (such as this one).

There is an opportunity to reduce online scams, particular those advertised on social media, search engines or through online advertising such as Google/Apple/Facebook advertising. Currently these accept no responsibility for advertisements seen or placed through them, but they are happy to receive income from the scammers. They contribute to the problem. There are more effective tools, as indicated in my previous post, to address this problem. A call centre won’t have any real effect.

Spam based scams (Nigerian princes, investment, cryptocurrency, romance etc) have somewhat been reigned in through use of email filters at by email hosts and device based filters. A call centre won’t have any effect other than saying to install an email/spam filter in one’s email client or use an email service which has such service. There are better ways to communicate such information.

A call centre may seen to be a promising development by some, unfortunately it will have limited or no effect on the problem that exists. It might become a counseling service or one to say what to do if one is scammed. Such is already available elsewhere.

We’d all benefit from a solution to this one.

It’s a universal problem that does not discriminate based on political preferences of the victims. One task our parliamentarians should work together on to deliver a practical solution/s.

The Telstra ‘call guardian’ is an effective response, acting as a digital assistant that screens incoming calls on home phone services.

Perhaps this is how all fixed and mobile phones should be able to function? It’s technology vs technology.

It needs Govt to sponsor the development, or mandate the Telcos to offer a solution, or a community minded organisation such as Choice to lobby/sponsor development?

Should the end product is best integrated into the phone OS by Apple (IOS) or Google (Android) or …?
Are there existing Apps that can provide the same outcome, including pass through of personalised contacts if appropriate?

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This is also now becoming less effective. The system relies on the caller leaving their names so that one can screen the call before taking the call. It will work for robocall type systems where the scammers use systems which connect to the caller when it is answered, but it will drive a behavioural change by the scammers. Scammer are starting to use Australian sounding names to try and bypass the call guardian or other screening systems (e.g. letting the answering machine answer the call to see who it is before answering) and convenience the receiver to take the call. It may work for some, but not for all…and over time potentially less. If it is mandated, it is guaranteed to be less effective.

The system also relies on the receiver making a decision to take the call. Unless one only picks up the phone to known friends and family who leave names, one potentially will miss other calls which may also be legitimate and potentially important. If one only wants to take calls from known family and friends, this is already achievable through placing contact lists in the phone. Most mobiles also have settings to only allow calls to be received from known contacts.

An effective system needs to be smart and also block the caller before it is received at the handset. Otherwise, scammers will adjust their mojo to beat the system. As outlined in other threads, the technology isn’t yet to be developed for such approaches. I suspect that any system will need some sort of unbreakable unique verification codes and may also need a multinational adoption for any success.

For those using a Call Guardian one does not need to respond to spammers using deceit and an Aussie sounding name or business. Simply rejecting the caller and forcing them to leave a message raises the bar. The proposed National Call Centre could add value if tasked with offering a verification service via an App, SMS, email, online or voice to further discourage fraud.

Isn’t it better to do something than simply put it off until in the fullness of time with the excuse technology and politics may deliver something another day?

No reflection on our current leadership intended, it seems to becoming the ‘Australian Way’. Why do something constructive about today’s problem when someone else might fix it for you in the future?

P.S.
It’s more than possible Apple and Google etc could deliver a much superior product compared to Telstra’s Call Guardian. One only has to step into JB-HiFi once every five years to know! :wink:

I definitely don’t want the phone to decide which calls I can get; or to decide to turn off the alerts for certain calls. That has to be my decision. I need to get calls for business. There was a feature like that that turned itself on, on a Samsung S9 phone. I got rid of that phone pretty fast. Another issue is: if you get a new phone number, it may be from a previous scam caller and, if so, maybe thousands of people have blocked it.

That’s your business choice. I’ve previously separated personal from business by using two phones. Who needs to answer business calls outside work? More importantly, who gets paid to answer work calls after hours?

For most of us who only use a phone for personal needs, life is not that complicated. We have family (older Aussies) who use Telstra’s Call Guardian successfully.

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I actually have a Telstra guardian handset. I posted this comment in 2018.
"Here is an item I posted in April 2017. "I recommend you get a Telstra "Guardian"cordless phone set. I got one in November last year and since then I have not received one scam call.

Calls to numbers on your call list (capacity 2000) go through as normal.

If not on your contact list, caller is asked to identify themselves. If they don’t the call is immediately terminated.(you are not even aware of a call). If they do announce themselves the phone rings and displays caller details as provided by caller. You have the option of accepting call once, always, or blocking number.

We love it!

As at December 2018 the number of scam calls received remains at ZERO. I can now update that sentence to November 2021.

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This is what we do with our answering machine on our private line. We let it answer the call and when we hear the voice, we chose whether to answer it.

We have received two different scam callers in the past couple of months., both with Anglosaxon ascents. The first was a friendly voice what was “Sam (?) from the Australian tax Office…” Can’t remember the name used, but is was a common Australian name. We thought about picking it up as we had just lodged out tax return and were waiting for our NTA…but decided not to pick this one up and lef it go to the answering machine. It proved to be the ATO debt and sending out the police scam. It made us think twice.

Another more recent one which caught us out was the message on the machine started as ‘Hi, its the Smiths here’. While the number wasn’t recognised, we picked this one up thinking it was our friends "the Smiths’. It proved to be a scammer and hung up before we know what it was about.

If one uses Telstra Guardian or other methods to screen a call, they will also be faced with the same dilemmas. Being seasoned scam busters, we did get caught by their new mojo…which I suspect is deliberate to try and bypass initial screen processes. We have decided to now wait for the message after salutations being left and the message to commence (maybe 10 seconds after answering machine starts recording before deciding whether to answer.

This is the problem with relying on filtering at the receiver…the scammers will adjust their methods to still try and deceive the recipient. This is why filtering and blocking before receipt is required.

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I think it is really sad, especially for an elderly person, that someone they have not heard from for years may try to call them, and will not be able to get through. Does that call guard give a message “the phone is not in service?”

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A possible misconception, it’s not how the system functions. It may slay any concern to read some of the following.

It would be really sad if the call was an astute scammer that took the elderly person’s money or obtained personal identity details.

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Just a correction on how Call Guardian works. There is no indication that a person is calling you unless they are on your contact list, or they provide their details. For the former, you answer the phone as normal, for the latter you decide whether to answer, not answer or block call.

An update.