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New ‘Scam Indicator’ Launched


The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and Telstra are joining forces to combat phone-based scams.  

The two organisations are piloting a new service called ‘scam indicator’, which is designed to recognise when a customer is being scammed out of large amounts of money in real-time. This new tool is expected to become available to joint CBA and Telstra customers later this year. 

How does ‘scam indicator’ work? 

The tool matches two pieces of data: an attempt by a customer to transfer a large amount of money and being on the phone, which could be indicative of a scam call in-progress. CBA will use a Telstra API as part of its scam detection processes to detect high-risk scam situations in real-time. Once a scam is detected, CBA can try to contact the customer or put in additional checks. 

To protect the privacy of both parties, CBA is only able to access specific data points relating to scam prevention through the API and does not have access to any other underlying customer data. 

What are the benefits of ‘scam indicator’? 

According to CBA CEO Matt Comyn, the bank has been working with Telstra to produce a machine-learning scams detection model. This is the first in several exciting initiatives from this partnership. The ‘scam indicator’ builds on Telstra’s ‘cleaner pipes’ strategy, which has already blocked 230 million SMS messages and stopped an average of 10 million scam or potentially unwanted calls every month. CBA predicts that up to $20 million of financial losses could be prevented using this real-time detection capability. 

Other recent initiatives by CBA to combat scams 

The ‘scam indicator’ is not the first initiative by CBA to combat scams. The bank recently launched ‘NameCheck’, which prompts customers if payment details do not match known account numbers. The bank has also revealed a new in-app caller verification function called ‘CallerCheck’, which enables CBA staff to send a notification to the customer’s banking app to verify they are speaking to a genuine customer representative. 

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji is the CEO of Gridware, a leading cybersecurity consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. An emerging thought leader in cybersecurity, Ahmed is an Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University and regularly contributes to cybersecurity conversations in Australia. As well as his extensive background as a security advisor to large Australian Enterprises, he is a regular keynote speaker and guest lecturer on offensive cybersecurity topics and blockchain.


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