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Lenders implement measures to combat scammers

Two major banks have assured their customers that they will be better protected from scammers through enhancements in scam prevention.

NAB and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) have announced further initiatives to prevent customers from being scammed following a surge in cyber crimes in recent months.

NAB has confirmed that it has placed bank phone numbers on the “Do Not Originate” list in order to help reduce spoofing scams (also known as impersonation scams) from replicating the major bank’s phone numbers.

In addition, NAB has added further protections to reduce scam messages appearing in legitimate bank text message threads.

According to NAB, it has seen a 50 per cent reduction in these types of spoofing cases that has led to a 70 per cent reduction in customer losses since implementing these changes in late December.

CBA announced improvements to its scam prevention, detection, and customer support strategy by introducing NameCheck technology for money transfers and new caller verification through the CommBank app.

The major bank also flagged that its new research indicated that Australians have become more concerned with scams than four months ago, with one in four believing they’re contacted by scammers at least six times a week.

CBA’s NameCheck technology gives its customers an indication of whether the name and account details they entered are correct.

Set to launch in March 2023, CBA stated the tech can help reduce false billing scams, also known as business email compromise, along with reducing mistaken payments. CBA confirmed it will be available on the CommBank app, NetBank and CommBiz.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) welcomed NAB’s announcement of working with telecommunications providers to help in scam prevention.

According to AFCA, it often sees complaints about bank ID spoofing scams along with other fraudulent activity such as remote access, romance and investment, invoicing, and crypto scams.

Over the course of 2021–22, the AFCA received 4,131 complains in relation to scams averaging around 340 calls a month, which the ombudsman service noted was a 28 per cent increase on the previous year.

This has risen to an average of 400 scam-related complaints a month in the current financial year.

AFCA’s chief ombudsman and chief executive David Locke stated: “With scammers becoming increasingly sophisticated, organisations from across different industries will need to work together to combat scams and educate the community.

“Industry and government are constantly looking at ways to create friction in the scams environment and reduce funds lost to fraud.

“As well as industry-led initiatives, we also encourage people to talk to their friends and family, particularly vulnerable people they know, about the dangers of scams. The more that people are aware, the less likely they are to fall victim to scams.”

In the lead-up to the holiday season last year, Suncorp Bank issued a warning of spoofing scams after the non-major bank confirmed that the technique had been used by scammers to target Suncorp Bank customers.

[RELATED: Suncorp warns customers of ‘spoofing’ scam] 

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