We’re no fan of scams, and neither are telcos and banks, two of which plan to team up to stop them dead in their tracks.
Scams are heating up because it’s the holiday season, but it doesn’t need to be a specific season for scams. They’re a year-round thing.
In Australia, our population of under 27 million sees hundreds of thousands of scams, with reports on ACCC’s Scamwatch showing just under 300,000 made this year and a reported loss of over $455 million. A staggering amount no matter how you look at it.
With that in mind, a telco and a bank are coming together to share details on SMS scams in an attempt to block and thwart scammers from doing their thing.
The pilot will see the Commonwealth Bank and Vodafone work together to share SMS scams and the intelligence from it to disrupt scammers, identifying phishing attempts and putting proactive blocks when money is attempting to be transferred.
“Our latest data shows that fraudulent text and email messages are the number one scam trend impacting our customers,” said James Roberts, General Manager of Group Fraud for CommBank.
“Not only are scammers becoming increasingly sophisticated, but we tend to see an uptick in attempted and successful scams at certain times of the year, such as the festive season,” he said.
“With this heightened risk, we recommend people remain alert for potential scams, including those delivered via SMS with messages imitating major courier or postal companies.”
The approach should mean that attempted scams going through the bank will also be trackable through a telco, but even if you’re with a different player, it could still result in a positive result rather than into the scammer’s hands.
While Vodafone is the telco CommBank is partnering with, the information being shared could mean the bank and the telco each become far more predictive and can work out what’s going on regardless of if you use the services of either.
“CommBank has invested about $750m to help protect and defend our customers from cyber security threats, financial crime, and fraud and scams,” said Roberts.
“By collaborating closely with Vodafone, we’re focused on helping to minimise financial harm associated with the ever-evolving threat of SMS scams.”