Threats, harassment and scams
Providers have responsibilities to prevent their services being used to threaten, harass or scam consumers.
When you tell a provider that you have received a life threatening or unwelcome phone call or message via their service, they must do certain things to assist you. We can help with your complaint about how a provider managed these issues.
Types of complaints about threats, harassment and scams
We deal with complaints about providers:
- not following the correct process to respond when their service was used to contact you with a bomb threat, a threat of serious injury or kidnapping, a threat to public safety or an extortion demand
- not helping you deal with a pattern of unwelcome or harassing calls
- allowing third parties to access telecommunications accounts without the account holder’s authority
We cannot deal with complaints about fraudsters or scammers and their behaviour.
What you should expect from your provider: the law and industry practice
Providers must run a trace if you receive a life threatening communication
If you receive a life threatening communication, your provider must tell you to contact the police. They must also run a trace to find the source of the communication and report it to the police.
Providers must help you stop repeated unwelcome communications
If you receive repeated unwelcome communications, your provider must give you advice about how to stop them, for example, by arranging email blocking or joining the Do Not Call Register.
Providers cannot always block all scam calls
While providers must take steps to identify, trace, monitor and block scam calls where possible, there are limits to what a provider can do to block these calls (especially where the scam calls come from overseas). Providers may not be able to prevent scams conducted online, through the web, emails or over chat.
Providers must protect your account and personal information
Providers have a responsibility to protect your telco account and personal information from unauthorised access and use.
If you believe your telco account has been accessed by a fraudster, see our “Unauthorised account access” guidance note for further advice.
If you have received a scam call or an online scam, you can report it to Scamwatch. Scamwatch is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and publishes information about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam, contact:
- Your local police