For the first time, regulators from Canada, Australia, Ireland, Hong Kong and the United States met in person to find better ways to combat scams.

Hosted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the Combating Scam Communications meeting was an opportunity to share strategic insights on current initiatives and cross-border enforcement challenges. The participants also explored options for greater international collaboration to disrupt scam communications.

“Unlawful spam and unwanted calls continue to be major threats to consumers around the globe. Coordinating our efforts internationally is the only way we can tackle this issue. By doing so, we are increasing our chances of protecting our citizens from those engaging in illegal and damaging activities,’’ said Ian Scott, chairperson and chief executive officer of CRTC.

Representatives from the five countries agreed to continue their collaboration and share strategic information. They will seek engagement from other regulatory agencies in jurisdictions that may be the source of or suffering from scam communications.

“Joint efforts at scam disruption by regulators internationally is a key line of defense. Every scam blocked is a win for consumers, hardens telecommunications networks and disrupts the scammers’ business model,” added James Cameron, authority member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Scammers are indeed an all-too-familiar threat, which is why “partnerships like this are critical in our unified efforts to protect consumers and fight back against scammers,” Jessica Rosenworcel, chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pointed out.

Scam communications impact consumers and businesses. In response to this, “The Nuisance Communications Industry Taskforce in Ireland is a key element for effective local interventions and for them to be successful, we require global collaboration for what is a global problem,” Robert Mourik, chairperson of the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) stated.

This meeting builds on an existing collaboration between regulators through the Unsolicited Communications Enforcement Network (UCENet) and the strong bilateral relationships between many global regulatory agencies.

The purpose of the UCENet is to promote international spam enforcement cooperation and address spam-related problems, such as online fraud and deception, phishing and spreading viruses.