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(Australian Associated Press)
Australians have lost more than half a billion dollars to scammers this year.
Now, the federal government is cracking down on the most common telephone frauds.
A trial being launched next year will target call-back scams, where fraudsters ring once and hang up, then when people call back their calls are charged at a premium rate.
Another trial will look to weed out problematic phone networks that carry a high volume of scam traffic.
A third trial has begun involving the government’s already announced crackdown on fraudulent phone porting, which allows crooks to steal people’s numbers.
Scammers have been using numbers for the Australian Tax Office and the NBN Co to rip off Australians.
The government has already asked telcos to use new authentication methods when people change numbers to stop the practice.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said scammers had wreaked significant emotional and financial hardship.
“For too long, scammers have been targeting Australians,” he said.