Technology

Government plan to stop annoying phone scams from fake numbers

Government plan to stop annoying phone scams from fake numbers
The days of receiving annoying scam phone calls could soon be over, with a new government crackdown targeting overseas criminal organisations.
Scammers pretending to be from well-known Australian organisations and those leaving voicemails asking victims to call back a premium number and networks with a high volume of scam traffic will all be targeted under the new crackdown.
Scam phone calls are one of the most annoying downsides to technology. (Supplied)
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the telecommunications industry and the Australian Communications and Media Authority were already working with the government to stop the growing number of overseas calls pretending to be from organisations like the NBN or ATO.
"They will be using software and technology within their networks to identify these calls and seek to block them before they get to the customer," he told Today. 
"It's already started is to reduce the number of calls coming into Australian homes."
Mr Fletcher said the next stage would focus on Wangiri scams - Japanese for one ring and drop.
"You get one ring on your phone from an overseas number. You pick up the phone to call back and it's a premium rate number that you're being directed to, so you end up being charged a lot of money," he explained.
The third crackdown will focus overseas carriers which are sending large numbers of these calls to the local telcos, with Australians set to "see the benefits over the coming months".
People who think they have received one of these calls can find more information on the ACCC's scam task force page, with Mr Fletcher also offering simple advice moving forward.
"When in doubt, don't pick up the phone," he said.