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BSB 806 015

Banks unite in the fight against scammers

28 Nov2023

Scams are a serious issue that cause everyday Australians significant financial loss and emotional distress, with scammers robbing everyday Australians of their wealth through sophisticated manipulation.

Scamwatch data shows scammers stole $3.1 billion from Australians in 2022 alone.

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) has joined forces with the Australian Banking Association (ABA) in a united approach from the banking industry, launching a new Scam-Safe Accord.

The Scam-Safe Accord outlines key initiatives banks are undertaking to help protect Australian consumers and small businesses based on the principles of disrupt, detect, and respond.

Disrupt

  • Banks will deliver an industry-wide confirmation of payee solution to customers
  • Banks will take action to prevent misuse of bank accounts through increased verification
  • Banks will introduce warnings and payment delays to protect you

Detect

  • Banks will invest in a major expansion of intelligence sharing across the sector

Respond

  • Banks will limit payments to high-risk channels to protect customers

At the heart is a $100 million investment by the industry in a new confirmation of payee system to reduce fraud and help people know who they are dealing with. The design and build of an industry wide confirmation of payee system is a major undertaking, expected be rolled out across all Australian banks and credit unions in 2025.

The Scam-Safe Accord also includes a major expansion of intelligence sharing across the sector. Banks and credit unions will be joining the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange and Fraud Reporting Exchange over 2024-25, meaning financial institutions will be able to share critical information at speed about scam transactions.

How to protect yourself against scams

All Australians need to unite to combat scams, and consumers have a key role to play too. Scamwatch has some tips of red flags to look out for when identifying a scam including:

  • Being offered an “amazing opportunity” to make or save money.
  • Someone you haven’t met, or have only talked to online, needs your help – and money.
  • A message you receive contains links or attachments.
  • Being pressured to act quickly.
  • Being asked to pay in unusual or specific ways.
  • Asking you to set up new accounts.
  • Asking you to pay them to upgrade your PayId account.

If scammers have been successful, they will try to get more money. Unfortunately, one in three victims of a scam have been scammed more than once. If you’ve lost money to a scam, be especially wary of new scams – including if someone offers to help you get your money back.

Learn more about protecting yourself against scams here.

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