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S 521 compliance and Mobile Phone Porting

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Nexon’s Mobile Phone Porting services to customers 

All Nexon customers must complete and sign a “Port Authority Form” by supplying all appropriate account details including DOB plus a copy of their latest mobile bill. Along with this Nexon uses industry best practise safety measures through Pre-Port Verification using an OTP (one time PIN).

Crime on the rise

Cyber and digital crime has been on the rise as businesses and individuals move online and use portable devices more. These devices, particularly mobile phones, usually store a high level of personal information and documents used for products and services from financial institutions, retail and government portals. Telecommunications scams have been around for quite some time, however, the rise in illegal mobile number porting is one of particular concern as it has significant economic, social and emotional consequences. In an effort to further mitigate this risk the Telecommunications ACMA has introduced additional porting verification requirements that came into effect from April, known as the Telecommunications (Mobile Number Pre-porting Additional Identify Verification) Industry Standard 2020.

Nexon has always had stringent verification checks with personal identification checks as part of its porting process (PAF : Port Access Form). Further to this a unique verification SMS code service has been implemented sent by SMS as part prior service activation. Note the consumer is not charged for this service.

What is Mobile Number Porting?

According to idcare.org, Mobile Number Porting is a “legitimate service that allows customers to transfer a mobile number from one telecommunications provider to another without changing or losing the original number”

It is designed to facilitate healthy competition by allowing customers to choose services that best suit their needs and switch between these services quickly and cost effectively.

When does Mobile Number Porting become illegal?

The above process becomes illegal when a third party (a scammer or hacker for instance) accesses your personal information and tries to port your number, without your consent. While the integrity of your device and phone number are compromised and stolen when this happens, this is merely the tip of the iceberg as this process acts as a “gateway” mechanism to broader identity and financial theft. One of the ways this occurs is when your number is in the hands of a scammer, they receive all of your SMS, calls and two-factor authentication codes to then access a variety of services linked to your name and phone number.

How would you know if your number has been illegally ported?

Under normal circumstances, the gaining mobile carriage service provider must obtain a customer’s consent and authorization prior to porting. In the case where this happens illegally, you will randomly receive an SMS saying your number has been ported or you will receive no notifications whatsoever until after your current service has stopped working.

What should you do in the event that your number has been illegally ported?

If you have been a victim of illegal mobile number porting:

  • Please contact Nexon Customer Service immediately on 1800 300 000 or web chat / support ticket via our website. We can then assess the case and take necessary action
  • Get in touch with any financial, utility or government services you use to see if they have recorded any suspicious activity on your account within a recent timeframe
  • Change any passwords you have on social media or digital platforms and enable two factor authentication that doesn’t require a SMS (opt for a code generator application instead)
  • Once the scam has been confirmed and identified, be sure to report the activity to SCAMWATCH and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network
  • How you can protect your identity online and prevent illegal mobile number porting from occurring
  • Always be careful when sharing your phone number on public profiles including social media and when signing up for any new service. Make sure the service has adequate privacy protection policies in place.
  • Where possible, ask your mobile service provider to set up a secret PIN that only you have access to in the event of a breach
  • Remove any personally identifiable information such as your full name, address and date of birth from public profiles
  • Always create strong, alphanumeric passwords that are unique to each platform or service you use. On top of this, make sure you enable two factor authentication that uses a unique code generator
  • Keep your personal email inbox clean. Make sure it does not contain any personal or financial information so that you are safe in the event of a breach.

Enhanced Verification checks as part of number porting under the legislation have been mandated.

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