Updated: 30 October 2023

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has welcomed the announcement from a major bank that it is working with telco providers to reduce spoofing scams.

“With scammers becoming increasingly sophisticated, organisations from across different industries will need to work together to combat scams and educate the community,” AFCA’s Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive, David Locke, said.

“We are pleased to see telecommunications providers partnering with financial firms to detect or prevent scams before they cause harm to consumers.”

NAB today announced it has been working with telecommunication providers to reduce scam calls and texts impersonating NAB phone numbers.

Spoofing scams occur when scammers use readily available software to impersonate, or “spoof” a bank’s contact details. At times, an SMS will appear in the same conversation thread as previous messages sent from the financial firm – tricking a customer into believing it is a genuine SMS from their bank.  

AFCA often sees complaints about bank ID spoofing scams, as well as other fraudulent activity such as remote access, romance and investment, invoicing, and crypto scams.

In 2021-22, AFCA received 4,131 complaints in relation to scams, an average of around 340 a month. That was up 28 per cent on the previous year. 

In the current financial year, this has increased to an average of 400 scam-related complaints a month.

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

AFCA is engaging with industry, consumer groups and regulators, sharing its complaints data and insights, in the joint effort to reduce scam transactions.

NAB’s announcement is the second from a major bank in just two weeks. Earlier this month, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced it was introducing “NameCheck” technology for money transfers along with caller verification via the CommBank app.


Published: 15 February 2023


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About AFCA

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent help with financial disputes. It is a one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses who have a dispute with their financial firm, over things such as banking, credit, insurance, advice, investments or superannuation. Where an agreement cannot be reached between parties, AFCA can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.


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