Picture by FLY:D on Unsplash

Between January-June 2023, CommBank customer losses to scammers were 37% less than July-December '22.

This is despite most Australians agreeing scams are becoming both more prevalent and sophisticated, with 73% of Aussies saying in August 2023 the preceding twelve months had made them more concerned about fraud.

CBA General Manager of Group Fraud Management Services James Roberts said the results were encouraging, but warned against complacency.

"We all have more to do, including continuing to strengthen our defences across all financial institutions, telcos, government, social media and digital platforms to protect Australians from the terrible impact scammers have," Mr Roberts said.

"We're making progress, but there is always more to do. Remember to stop, check and reject when sending money or banking details."

CommBank anti-scam initiatives

Australia's biggest bank has introduced several measures in recent times to help protect its customers.

  • NameCheck looks at transactions where a customer is making a payment to an account for the first time, and will notify the customer if the account name and details entered look correct or not.
  • CallerCheck gives customers a notification in the CommBank app to verify when a call is actually from the bank. Between November '22 and August '23, about 420,000 customers used CallerCheck.
  • CustomerCheck allows customers to verify their identity in branch using the CommBank app, so they don't need to give out personal information in public for bad actors to exploit.
  • The bank has also introduced a Two-way push notification for transactions where CommBank customers are using their card for things like Apple Pay. The CommBank app will generate a code, which you verify in the app before the transaction is processed.
  • Crypto hold and decline means CommBank might limit the amount customers can pay to certain or accounts or merchants, like those associated with cryptocurrency exchanges. This is to help protect customers from investment scams where they think they are investing in something else, but unbeknown to them the funds are paid into a cryptocurrency exchange instead. The ACCC reported more than $220 million was lost to scams like this in 2022.

Aussies wising up to scam tactics

CommBank research from late 2022 found the average Australian receives more than 250 scam attempts each year.

Aussies are under threat via phone, text and email, but CommBank's scam survey found they are responding appropriately, and are becoming more cautious about the risks.

More than two thirds (68%) of Aussies are now cautious about answering calls from numbers they don't recognise, 61% about links sent via text, and 58% now check texts and emails for spelling and grammar errors that could suggest a scam.

Three in four Aussies (76%) are cautious about communicating with anyone now, with the risks presented by AI.

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