Vodafone and CBA are now sharing SMS scams intelligence in near real-time to help disrupt, detect and proactively block fraudulent payments, as part of a collaborative and cross-industry national pilot.

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Commonwealth Bank (CBA) and Vodafone have announced a new intelligence sharing pilot designed to help protect customers from rising SMS scams. 

The pilot sees Vodafone and CBA sharing SMS scam-related intelligence in near real-time, allowing the telco to identify and disrupt scammers, while the bank may implement proactive blocks on suspected fraudulent payments.

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James Roberts, General Manager of Group Fraud at CBA, says there are increased risks at this busy time of year as we head into the festive season.

“Our latest data shows that fraudulent text and email messages are the number one scam trend impacting our customers. This phenomenon, otherwise known as ‘phishing’, involves fraudsters tricking unsuspecting customers to click on an embedded link and share their online banking and card details, as well as personal information.

“Not only are scammers becoming increasingly sophisticated, but we tend to see an uptick in attempted and successful scams at certain times of the year, such as the festive season. With this heightened risk, we recommend people remain alert for potential scams, including those delivered via SMS with messages imitating major courier or postal companies.

“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 announcement comes as the latest scam statistics published by Australia’s National Anti-Scam Centre in November 2023 show text messages as the most popular delivery method used by fraudsters so far this year, with more than $24.5m being lost to this type of scam so far this year.

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