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CBA & Vodafone collaborate to fight rising SMS scams in new venture
Wed, 6th Dec 2023

The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and telecoms giant Vodafone have unveiled a new joint venture designed to thwart the rising tide of SMS scams. The intelligence sharing initiative will see both parties sharing information on SMS scam-related issues in "near real-time", enabling them to more swiftly identify and interfere with scammers' activities. These proactive measures are hoped to disrupt, detect, and block fraudulent payments, providing customers with stronger protection against fraudulent activity.

James Roberts, General Manager of Group Fraud at CBA, highlighted the increased risks at this time of year, as the holiday season approaches. He noted that the bank's latest data indicates that fraudulent emails and text messages are currently the top-ranking scam trend affecting their customers. This method of fraud, known as 'phishing', involves scammers duping their victims into clicking on a link embedded in the scam message, whereby they are then tricked into sharing their online banking and card details, as well as personal information.

However, Roberts believes the new partnership with Vodafone will be key in tackling this issue, stating: “This pilot and timely intelligence sharing between CommBank and Vodafone allows us to proactively investigate and analyse the latest SMS scams in near real-time to ultimately help disrupt, detect and proactively block fraudulent payments."

The national pilot is seen as a significant part of a wider industry collaboration to deal with the increasingly tricky and dangerous issue of SMS scams. Through sharing data on emerging scams and scam trends, the CBA and Vodafone will be able to operate more efficiently and proactively in dealing with such threats, offering better protection for their customers in the process.

By working together, the bank hopes to stem the tide of scams which can have such a devastating impact on their victims – hitting them not only financially, but often emotionally too, particularly at this time of year. Likewise, for telecoms companies like Vodafone, SMS scams pose a significant problem, with the potential to erode trust in their services and cause upset for their customers. Therefore, this concerted effort to proactively tackle these scams acts in the best interests of both parties, and importantly, those they serve.