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CBA Introduces Leading AI Technology to Protect More Customers from Scams

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In a bid to prevent more Australians falling victim to scams, Commonwealth Bank has introduced new artificial intelligence (AI) technology to detect suspicious and unusual behaviour on its digital banking platforms, keeping more customers safe by alerting them to potential scams.

The new AI technology uses machine learning techniques to track unusual changes to the way a customer normally interacts with their devices and is an extension to the Bank’s comprehensive scam and fraud protection strategy.

Customers develop habits and patterns of behaviour in relation to the banking they do, when, and on what devices, their keystrokes and the way they use a mouse. Deviations from these patterns could be a sign their accounts have been compromised or that someone else is using their devices.

This new “protect, detect, and resolve” approach is aimed at identifying irregularities, identifying scammers and shutting down activity not authorised by the customer.

As well as the new AI detection system, CBA is also rolling out two-way push notifications that are safer than one-way SMS messages, increasing its investment in scam and fraud protection, doubling the size of its scam protection and prevention team, and releasing educational videos to inform customers how to protect themselves from scams.

Kate Crous, CBA Executive General Manager of Everyday Banking said: “Cybercrime is skyrocketing and 92 per cent of Australians have already been exposed to scams. In 2021 we prevented or recovered more than $100 million in scams targeted at our customers.

“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.

“Beyond these changes there is more to come in terms of how we’re systematically addressing the distressing impact of scams on our customers. While CBA has an important role to play, we’re part of a much wider solution. Industry, business, the community and government need to come together to raise awareness on this issue, take action to prevent it and support those impacted,” said Ms Crous.

The latest figures released by the ACCC reveal that Australians lost more than $2 billion in 2021 (total combined losses reported to Scamwatch, ReportCyber, 12 financial institutions and government agencies).

To tackle this disturbing trend and to provide a safer banking experience for customers, CBA is significantly increasing resources and expanding technology aimed at preventing and detecting scams and suspicious behaviour and supporting customers who have been impacted.

CBA is doubling the size of its dedicated scam prevention and protection team whose sole purpose is to protect customers against scams and fraud, particularly those most vulnerable.

While many banks use SMS, CBA has implemented two-way push alerts in the CommBank App, with additional security alerts about transactions that appear suspicious. If the logon is not recognised by the customer, the Bank’s scam and fraud detection platform will take the appropriate protective action and the customer is encouraged to reset their password.

The bank will also be rolling out informative video content on scams via the CommBank App to increase awareness of what common scams look like, how to recognise and avoid them, and what to do if a customer has been impacted.

Warning signs and red flags

Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency. They do this by pressuring customers with short deadlines, fake emergencies, threats of legal action or posing as a representative of the police force, the tax office, telecommunications providers and utilities, a bank or government departments.

Types of scams

Common scams include information technology and remote access (to a customer’s computer, mobile or other electronic devices); investment; dating and romance; unexpected money or winnings; fake charities; buying or selling; jobs and employment; threats and extortion; and, other attempts to gain a customer’s personal information.

The bank will never ask a customer for their PIN, password or NetBank SMS Code via telephone or email nor to access their devices. If a customer receives any contact from someone claiming to be from CommBank asking for this information or anyone they are not certain is genuine, they should not proceed and call the bank to verify before taking any action.

Where to find out more

There are a number of online resources with further education and information about current scams, including www.commbank.com.au/scams and www.scamwatch.gov.au

Customers can also access the CommBank ‘Safe & Savvy’ guide designed to help customers understand and avoid elder abuse, scams and fraud.

We’re here to help

If a customer identifies unauthorised transactions or unusual conduct on their accounts, or need to confirm contact from CommBank is genuine they can call us anytime on 13 2221 (+61 2 9999 3283 from overseas), or visit their local branch.

Customers can also call the Bank’s Scams Team on 1800 023 919. Select option 2, then option 1 (Monday to Friday 8am – 7pm, Saturday to Sunday 8am – 4pm Sydney time).

Source: Commonwealth Bank

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