These new scam detection technologies will be implemented in the context of rising fraud activity across the country, and they will contribute to a safer and more secure banking experience for all CBA customers. The decision to embed these new systems across the bank’s digital platforms is also related to the Medicare and Optus data breaches from 2022.
According to austrac.gov.au, on 22 September 2022, a cyber-attack on Optus resulted in the disclosure of their customers’ personal information. Optus customer information such as names, dates of birth, email addresses, driver’s licences, Medicare cards, and passport numbers may have been exposed as a result of the breach.
Commonwealth Bank plans to introduce two new scam detection checks, namely NameCheck and CallerCheck. CBA’s NameCheck technology will go live in late March and will inform customers if the name and account details of another account look legitimate. The system will provide this information by cross-verifying previous transactions with similar names across the network. Once it goes live, NameCheck will be available on the CommBank app, NetBank and CommBiz banking platforms.
As for CallerCheck, it allows banking staff to trigger a notification in the CommBank app to verify if a call is from the incumbent rather than an impersonator.
Scamming activity in Australia
According to a report by the ACCC on scam activity in 2021, nearly AUD 1.8 billion in losses were reported to Scamwatch, ReportCyber, 12 financial organisations, and other government agencies. Out of the AUD 1.8 billion, AUD 227 million were stolen in direct payment scams.
According to the same report, the largest combined losses in 2021 were AUD 701 million lost to investment scams, AUD 227 million lost to payment redirection scams, and AUD 142 million lost to romance scams.
The most frequently complained about scams to Scamwatch in 2021 were phishing and identity theft scams with over 93,000 complaints, threats to life, arrest or other with over 32,000 complaints, false billing with over 21,000 complaints, and online shopping scams with over 20,000 complaints.
The report also points to cryptocurrencies as a factor that contributed to the scam surge. The popularity of cryptocurrency has led to a surge in losses to investment scams with combined losses of AUD 701 million. At the same time, the report reveals that crypto is becoming the preferred method of payment across all types of scams. In March 2022, the Australian government began consultation on approaches for licencing digital currency exchanges and custody requirements for crypto assets.
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