The average Aussie receives over 250 scam attempts a year – CBA

The bank launches new campaign to raise awareness against scams

The average Aussie receives over 250 scam attempts a year – CBA


By Mina Martin

Three in five Australians have been a victim of a scam, or know someone who has, with men more likely to have experienced a scam and suffered a loss (41% to 30%), according to new research by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The CBA study, which looked at Australians’ attitudes towards scams and how scams have evolved in recent years, revealed that 57% of Australians have become more concerned about scams over the last 12 months. And this may be due to findings that Australians, on average, receive five scam calls, emails, or messages a week, equating to over 250 attempts a year.

Australians also believed that scams have changed over the past 12 months, with an increase in scam messages/calls (64%) and scams becoming more sophisticated and harder to identify as fake (57%) the most cited changes. Some 79% of the respondents said they are more likely to contact their bank if they were to fall victim to a scam, and 63% said they would report the scam to the police. Interestingly, 12% of Australians would contact the scammer directly.

The release of the research coincides with the launch of a new CBA national campaign, which is part of a broad, longer-term initiative to raise awareness and help protect Australians from scams. 

“Recent events have served as a reminder that scams and fraud continue to rise,” said James Roberts, CBA general manager of group fraud. “The CommBank Safe campaign is a call to arms encouraging every Australian to stay safe. Through this bank-wide initiative, we hope to contribute to increasing national awareness and resilience against this potentially devastating issue, particularly amongst our most vulnerable customers.”

As part of the campaign, the bank encourages Australians to detect scams and fraud through this simple guide: “Stop. Check. Reject.”

  • Stop. When you get an unusual call or text. Real organisations won’t put you under pressure to act instantly
  • Check. Contact the organisation the message claims to be from or check with someone you trust
  • Reject. If it’s not them, block the texter, delete the email, or hang up on the caller. Change your passwords

“Companies, including the banks and their security departments, should never ask for a PIN, password, or access codes over the phone, email, or text, nor should they ever ask for access to your devices,” Roberts said. “If you receive any contact from someone claiming to be from a service provider asking for this information, call that organisation immediately to verify before taking any action.”

Despite the prevalence of scams in Australia, the CBA research found that 33% of scam victims did not lodge a report – either because they felt like it was their fault (41%), that it wouldn’t be worth the effort (33%), or because they felt embarrassed or ashamed (26%).

Encouragingly, 84% felt confident in their ability to recognise and avoid scams, with younger Australians more likely to be more confident in their ability to recognise and avoid scams. Some 65% are cautious about calls from numbers they don’t recognise, 57% check before clicking on links received via text unless from a friend, and 54% check written materials for spelling and grammar mistakes.

“As scammers become more sophisticated, devious, and harder to identify than ever, we want to help our customers feel safe when banking on their devices, knowing we’re doing whatever we can to protect, detect and resolve issues they encounter,” Roberts said. “If you think you have fallen victim to a scam, call us to see if we can help.”

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