scam

The Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has launched a public consultation on proposed preventative measures to mitigate Calling Line Identification (CLI) spoofing and vishing scams.

The consultation paper proposed a framework of interventions aimed at identifying and subsequently blocking, potential scam calls retrieved in Malta over international network interfaces (international links).

“There is a globally and upward trend in prevalence of scams based on CLI spoofing, whereby scammers rely on using spoofed, locally known numbers for voice calls (vishing) to abuse of the potential victims’ knowledge of, and trust in, such numbers,” MCA explained.

Within this context, such scams comprise the misuse of or unauthorised use of numbering resources and therefore can negatively impact the market for electronic communications services (ESC), through lower trust in numbers and corresponding services.

The MCA remarked that distinguishing calls with spoofed CLI from legitimate calls is challenging, thus any proposed interventions “need to be effective in mitigating scam calls using spoofed Maltese numbers, as well as having minimal impact on legitimate calls.”

Therefore, the Paper proposes a framework of interventions, comprising a number of proposed decisions, mainly:

1. Mandating the blocking of all incoming calls over operators’ international network interfaces where the calling party number is a Maltese number from the ‘1X’, ‘2X’ or ‘8X’ numbering ranges, with exceptions considered to safeguard legitimate use-cases.

2. Mandating the blocking of all incoming calls over operators’ international network interfaces where the calling party number is a Maltese number from the ‘3X’, ‘5X’ or ‘6X’ numbering ranges, which correspond to numbers that may not be used as CLI. (+356) 21336840 pr.mca@mca.org.mt www.mca.org.mt Valletta Waterfront, Pinto Wharf, Floriana FRN1913, Malta

3. Proposed decisions governing operators’ handling of incoming calls originating from ‘overseas solutions’, such as over-the-top and/or cloud-based communications solutions, with outbound calling functionalities. The corresponding decisions propose an approach to govern the authorised provision of such ECS and to ensure that legitimate calls originated via such overseas solutions are not blocked.

4. Establishing transparency and creating awareness on potential negative impact of the blocking measures on the conveyance of certain calls, such as those involving some form of call forwarding and calls originated through overseas solutions provided by undertakings unauthorised locally to provide ECS.

The Authority invites all interested parties to review the Paper and provide feedback by not later than 12:00 CET on Tuesday, 31st October 2023. Further information can be accessed through the website, or contact the MCA on numbering@mca.org.mt or +35621336840

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