02 October, 2023

Launch of Public Consultation on Proposed Preventative Measures to Mitigate CLI Spoofing and Vishing Scams


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 proposes a framework of interventions aimed at identifying, and subsequently blocking, potential scam calls received in Malta over international network interfaces (international links).
There is globally an 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.

Within this context, such scams comprise the misuse of, or unauthorised use of numbering resources and can thus result in a negative impact on the market for electronic communications services (ECS), through lower trust in numbers and corresponding services. The task of 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.

In this regard, the Consultation Paper proposes a framework of interventions, comprising nine Proposed Decisions, which may be summarised as follows:

  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.
  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 MCA invites all interested parties to review the Consultation Paper and provide feedback by not later than 12:00 CET on Tuesday, 31 October 2023. For more information, please visit the MCA website or contact the MCA on numbering@mca.org.mt or +356 2133 6840.

Following a request from an interested party, the MCA has granted an extension to the deadline for the submission of responses to its consultation and proposed decisions titled ‘Preventative measures to mitigate CLI spoofing and vishing scams’ (MCA/C/23-5080) until 12:00 CET on Wednesday, 15 November 2023.

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