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Majors target cyber scams

Two major banks have warned customers against cyber scams and have taken measures to prevent them.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has introduced new measures to protect customers from scams regarding cryptocurrency exchanges, while National Australia Bank (NAB) have warned small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers against cyber crimes during tax time.

As of 8 June 2023, CBA will decline or hold certain payments to cryptocurrency exchanges for 24 hours. The major bank will also introduce $10,000 limits in a calendar month, where CBA can identify if the customer payments are to exchanges for cryptocurrency purchases.

CBA general manager of group fraud management services, James Roberts, said: “Consumer interest in cryptocurrencies has been increasing and unfortunately scammers globally are capitalising on this trend and masquerading as legitimate investment opportunities or diverting funds into cryptocurrency exchanges.

“With the incidences of scams increasing and in many cases customers suffering significant losses from being scammed, the introduction of 24-hour holds, declines, and limits on outbound payments to cryptocurrency exchanges will help reduce both the number of scams and the amount of money lost by customers.”

The bank will closely monitor the effects of these scam response measures, subject to an ongoing review.

Meanwhile, NAB research has found that one in three SMEs have fallen victim to a cyber attack or scam, losing $19,000 on average.

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In addition, the research found that four in 10 SMEs believe they have stayed vigilant regarding their cyber security.

NAB has urged agribusiness customers in particular to remain vigilant against the plethora of cyber attacks.

NAB’s executive for regional and agribusiness, Khan Horne, said: “Farmers hold business data and intellectual property that’s very attractive to cyber criminals.

“For example, most farmers deal electronically with suppliers and their customers, creating masses of business data that cyber criminals look to steal for financial benefit.”

Mr Horne offered agribusiness customers some tips on how to stay safe this EOFY season including remaining cautious of any message that has a sense of urgency (a common tactic used by scammers to prey on vulnerabilities) and to ring and check payment details when paying someone for the first time or if there are changes to account details.

According to the major bank, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) received over 19,000 reports of ATO impersonation scams that Australians received via SMS, email, phone, and social media platforms.

[RELATED: AI geared to protect banks against fraud]

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