Decision Notice on Preventative Measures to Mitigate CLI Spoofing and Vishing Scams

Scams which involve Calling Line Identification (CLI) spoofing are on the rise globally, facilitated in their spread and evolution by advancements in online communications solutions. Scammers increasingly rely on spoofing of locally known numbers for voice calls to commit vishing scams that abuse of potential victims’ knowledge of and trust in such numbers.

Such voice scams comprise the misuse of, or unauthorised use of numbers and can thus result in lower trust in numbers and a negative impact on the electronic communications market. Thus, the MCA had published a Consultation Paper with the scope to establish a framework of measures to be introduced at an electronic communications network level to contribute, in conjunction with other measures, towards the broader fight against CLI spoofing and vishing scams. During the consultation period, which ran between 29 September 2023 and 15 November 2023, the MCA received feedback from six respondents. After taking into account the responses received, the MCA is hereby publishing its Decision Notice titled ‘Preventative Measures to Mitigate CLI Spoofing and Vishing Scams’.

This Decision Notice puts forward a framework of measures aimed at identifying, and subsequently blocking, potential scam calls received in Malta over international network interfaces. The focus on calls received over such international network interfaces reflects the fact that the majority of scam calls are received from abroad. The blocking measures are focused on voice calls where the CLI is from specific Maltese numbering ranges. The framework also includes transparency measures aimed at raising awareness on the potential impact of the blocking measures, as well as measures to regulate the conditional provision of decoupled call origination services, which may continue to be availed by users for legitimate purposes, subject to new validation measures meant to eliminate spoofed calls with malicious intent.

Local operators of international network interfaces will be obliged to implement the blocking measures by Friday, 1 November 2024. As from this date, all incoming calls over such international network interfaces with a Maltese CLI from specific numbering ranges will be subject to filtering to identify and block both potential scam calls and calls placed through unauthorised service providers.

Regulatory Type: 
Electronic Communications

MCA Reference: 

Related Consultation:
Consultation and Proposed Decisions: Preventative measures to mitigate CLI spoofing and vishing scams