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Early signs of success in war against scammers 

Early signs of success in war against scammers 

15 March 2024

The Australian Banking Association welcomes the release today of a new report from the National Anti-Scam Centre showing that industry and government measures to tackle scams are protecting more Australians.    

The latest quarterly report shows that overall scam losses in the 2023 December quarter were down by 43% compared to the same quarter last year.  

Other key findings from the report show:  

  • Reduction in losses across all scam types – investment (down 38%), romance (down 41%), employment (down 38%), false billing (down 53%) and phishing (down 62%) 
  • 74% decrease in losses by cryptocurrency to $12.4 million 
  • 31% decrease in losses by bank transfer to $40.2 million.  

ABA CEO Anna Bligh said the report demonstrated that dedicated efforts to better protect Australians from scams were having an impact and progress is being made in the war against scammers.  

“I have a lot of sympathy for Australians who have lost money to scams. It is encouraging that efforts to protect people are making a difference and less money is being lost to scammers,” Ms Bligh said. 

“Every dollar that stays out of the hands of the criminal gangs behind these scams is a win, however we must all continue to remain vigilant to the risks that remain.   

“Unfortunately, when one scam disappears another will appear and therefore it’s critical banks, government, telcos, social media platforms as well as consumers continue to work together to stay one step ahead of scammers.  

“Banks are working around the clock to protect Australians from scams and the industry will continue to invest record amounts in the latest scam fighting technology to protect customers.  

“Extra protections from banks are helping to ensure less Australians are losing money to the international criminal gangs who run many scams.  

“Scammers often use crypto exchanges as the getaway vehicle of choice to siphon funds. Banks are now regularly blocking or limiting suspect transfers to high-risk crypto exchanges which is reducing the ability of criminal gangs to steal money. 

“Our new Scam-Safe Accord is also a game-changer and will set an even higher standard of protection by the banks to shield consumers from scammers.   

“The centre piece of this new Accord is a $100 million investment by banks in a new confirmation of payee system. This will help reduce scams by ensuring people can confirm they are transferring money to the person they intend to.” 

Other key initiatives under the Scam-Safe Accord include: 

  • introducing more warnings and payment delays to protect customers 
  • adopting further technology and controls to help prevent identity fraud, such as the use of at least one biometric check for new individual customers opening accounts 
  • investing in a major expansion of intelligence sharing across the sector 
  • All banks to implement an anti-scams strategy to enhance oversight of the bank’s scams detection and response.   

More information on the Scam-Safe Accord can be found here.  

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