ACCAN recently submitted to ACMA’s Draft Telecommunications (Mobile Number Pre-Porting Additional Identity Verification) Industry Standard 2020. ACMA drafted the Standard to help prevent the unauthorised porting of mobile service numbers and reduce the damage done to consumers from this activity.

Mobile number fraud is a gateway to identity and financial theft. ACCAN is aware of numerous reports by victims of fraudulent number porting which reinforce the need for stronger protections.

Our submission argued that any financial and administrative burden imposed on telecommunications carriage service providers in strengthening mobile number porting security measures will be outweighed by the long-term consumer trust benefits delivered by improved security measures.

Although broadly supportive of ACMA’s Standard to help protect consumers from fraudulent number porting, ACCAN made additional recommendations to improve the Standard, including:

  • Boosted identity checks should be a default obligation on telecommunications providers to prevent fraudulent number porting.
  • Two-factor authentication should be used in approval of porting of mobile numbers, but use of SMS messages is not a sufficiently secure authentication process to prevent fraudulent mobile number porting. We suggested other more secure options.
  • Imposing penalties for infringement on both the losing and gaining carriage service providers - for example, fines - in cases where rigorous authentication processes have not been followed would act as a deterrent to lax identity verification practices.
  • Mobile carriage service providers should not charge a fee to a customer for the completion of an additional identity verification process.
  • Retail service providers should be required to educate customers about the potential dangers of fraudulent mobile number porting and the importance of adhering to safe authentication and security practices.

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