cyber daily logo

Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our Newsletter

Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our Newsletter X facebook linkedin Instagram Instagram

ACMA targets 5 Aussie telcos over SMS scams

The Australian Communications and Media Authority found the telcos failed to comply with anti-scam regulations.

user icon David Hollingworth
Fri, 16 Feb 2024
ACMA targets 5 Aussie telcos over SMS scams
expand image

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has taken five Australian telcos to task after finding they were not taking sufficient steps to curb SMS scams being sent over their networks.

Message4U (which trades under the name Sinch MessageMedia), SMS Broadcast, DirectSMS, Esendex Australia, and MessageBird were responsible for tens of millions of scam messages being sent to customers under their watch in 2022 and 2023.

The messages were sent using shortened business names with text-based IDs, allowing scammers to impersonate well-known brands and government agencies. The telcos, the ACMA found, did not comply with regulations to ensure no such messages could be sent.


“Australians reported losing over $25 million to SMS scammers last year, and the impact on individuals and families can be truly devastating,” said ACMA spokesperson Samantha Yorke in a statement.

“Scammers will always look for cracks in systems, and if even one telco fails to have its compliance in order, it can open the door for scammers to target Australians.

“Telcos must have processes in place to ensure that customers sending bulk messages are verified.”

The telcos also failed to provide customer details to the Integrated Public Number Database, which Triple Zero operators use to locate people in times of emergency.

The five telcos have been given a formal direction to comply with all industry codes, and further failure to comply could lead to fines of up to $250,000.

“While we are not aware anyone was harmed due to the breaches, it is deeply concerning so many telcos failed to comply with these critical obligations,” Yorke said.

"We will be closely monitoring for any scam activity coming via these telcos and will not hesitate to take action if we find evidence Australians are being placed in harm’s way again.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

cyber daily subscribe
Be the first to hear the latest developments in the cyber industry.