AFCA welcomes investment in anti-scam technology

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) welcomes news of a partnership between Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to tackle scams.

“We are pleased to see telecommunications providers and financial firms working together to detect or prevent scams,” AFCA’s Chief Ombudsman and Chief Executive, David Locke, said. “The widespread and sophisticated nature of scams means the industry needs to be willing to invest in new technology and have the ability to respond quickly.

“We continue to see large increases in the number and size of scams coming to AFCA – a sign that more needs to be done,” he added.

“At AFCA, we see the devastating impact scams have on people, so we welcome any steps firms can take to protect consumers. We urge all banks and telcos to contribute to this important work.”

CBA and Telstra announced that they are testing a “Scam Indicator” to detect high-risk scam situations.

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.

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

About AFCA

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent dispute resolution to individual consumers and small businesses when they are not able to resolve complaints directly with financial firms in banking and finance, insurance, investments and advice, and superannuation. AFCA aims to help the parties reach agreement, but it can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.

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