NAB ramps up fight against spoofing scams

Move welcomed by AFCA

NAB ramps up fight against spoofing scams


By Mina Martin

NAB has been working with telecommunication providers to better protect customers against spoofing scams – a move welcomed by AFCA.

Spoofing scams, also known as impersonation scams, involve criminals impersonating the bank to pressure a customer to provide personal information or make a payment.

To help reduce calls impersonating NAB numbers, the bank said it is placing phone numbers on the “Do Not Originate” list as well as adding additional protections to reduce scam messages appearing in legitimate bank text message threads.

Since implementing changes in late December, NAB said there has been a 50% reduction in spoofing scams, leading to a 70% reduction in customer losses.

“Scams impersonating NAB and other recognised brands have continued to rise, and it’s clear we need more collaboration across business sectors to stop this occurring,” said Chris Sheehan (pictured above left), NAB executive for group investigations and fraud.

“This is not just a problem for banks and telcos, this is an issue for every public and private organisation, and we urgently need a more coordinated national response to the issue. By working together in a Team Australia response across business sectors, levels of government, and the community, we can reduce the impact these scams are having.”

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) said it was pleased to see financial firms partnering with telcos to thwart spoofing scams before they can cause harm to consumers.

“With scammers becoming increasingly sophisticated, organisations from across different industries will need to work together to combat scams and educate the community,” said David Locke (pictured above right), AFCA’s chief ombudsman and CEO.

In 2021-22, AFCA received 4,131 scam-related complaints, up 28% on the prior year. In the current financial year, the authority receives an average of 400 scam-related complaints a month, compared to the average 340 a month on the prior comparative period.

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

NAB’s announcement follows a similar move from CBA, which recently introduced NameCheck technology for money transfers along with caller verification via the CommBank app.   

How is your organisation protecting customers against spoofing scams? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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