Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Telstra, CommBank collaborate for financial scam protection

There’s no shortage of ways scammers will attempt to relieve you of money, but with big financial scams, a telco and a bank are coming together to thwart attempts.

Even though there’s a lot of education out to tell you what a scam looks like, sometimes that information can come just a little too late.

As scammers and cybercriminals wise up and take advantage of better language and artificial intelligence to boost their attempts, ensuring you don’t fall down a scammer’s rabbit hole and give them what they want is getting more and more difficult.

With millions lost to financial scams alone in the past year, it’s an area Australians know all too well. We see scams aplenty, and you probably do, too.

And while knowledge is one of our best forms of protection against scammers, companies are doing what they can to even the odds.

Commonwealth Bank and Telstra are teaming up for something like that, but you won’t likely see it in action. It’s a proof-of-concept tool the two are testing called “Scam Indicator”, and will alert the bank if customers appear to be transferring money to a scammer requesting it.

In essence, it’s a prevention mechanism built to track whether major money transfers are occurring while a phone call is in progress, with Commbank able to check whether a customer is engaged in a phone call at the time of transferring large sums of money to determine whether it is, in fact, a scam.

Worth noting, however, that only specific pieces of data will be accessed, and this also only works if you happen to be a Telstra and CommBank customer. If you’re a Telstra subscriber and belong to any other bank, or a Commonwealth Bank customer with a different telco, the Scam Indicator tool won’t kick in. It’s very much limited to customers of both.

Regardless, it’s an interesting approach, and joins Telstra’s Cleaner Pipes program as a way for the telco to go on the offensive and stop scammers in their tracks.

“Australians are under constant threat by scammers, who are getting increasingly sophisticated and persistent,” said Vicki Brady, CEO of Telstra.

“Cyber security and addressing the issue of scams is a team effort, and we should be doing all we can to help stem the flow of this criminal activity,” she said.

“Part of this needs to be organisations working together like this to share knowledge and insights and partnering to develop solutions that can help better protect our customers.”

Telstra says Scam Indicator will undergo more testing before it’s made available to Commbank and Telstra customers later on, with an expectation that it could prevent customer losses to tune of up to $20 million.

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