Vodafone teams up with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to share real-time scam info

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The Commonwealth Bank of Australia recently entered into a collaboration with Vodafone for a new pilot project. The project will see the two share SMS scam intelligence in near real-time, according to the partners.

Thanks to the new partnership, the telecommunications company will be able to quickly identify and disrupt scamming operations. Meanwhile, the bank will benefit by making proactive blocks on fraudulent payments, thus preventing the scammers from disappearing with the money.

Scammers are focusing on texts and emails to reach their victims

The project came as a consequence of recent statistics published by the Australian National Anti-Scam Center in November of this year. The statistics show that text messages have been the most popular way for scammers to trick users. Their delivery methods have proven to be effective enough for texts to result in a loss of over $24.5 million to this type of crime in 2023.

The CBA’s general manager of group fraud, James Roberts, commented on the matter, saying that there are growing risks, especially during busy parts of the year, such as the pre-festive season. He noted that latest data revealed that fraudulent emails and texts are the top scam trend that impacts the customers.

This type of fraud is known as phishing, and it is well-known in online security. Essentially, it revolves around fraudsters tricking the customers into clicking on embedded links and sharing their online banking and card details, and usually some personal information.

Roberts said that the pilot and timely intelligence sharing between Vodafone and CommBank will allow for proactive investigation and analysis of the latest SMS scams in near real-time. As a result, the partners will be able to detect and disrupt the scams, while also proactively blocking fraudulent payments.

SMS scams surge by 45% YoY

According to Vodafone, there is a clear uptick in fraudulent messages over the holiday season. The telco ended up blocking as many as 17.6 million SMS scams in September and October of 2023 alone, which is a 45% increase compared to the same period last year.

Roberts commented that CommBank has decided to invest around $750 million in order to protect and defend its customers from cyber security threats, fraud, scams, and other financial crimes.

However, its close collaboration with Vodafone will allow it to focus on helping minimize financial harm connected to the constantly evolving threat of SMS scams. This initiative is only the latest fraud-busting venure that the country’s main banks have rolled out lately.

It comes soon after the last month’s agreement on a number of reforms that are menat to keep customers safe from scammers. One example includes a $100 million investment to create a new Confirmation of Payee system. In addition to that, the plan is to also introduce more warnings, delays, and greater friction in the transfer of money.


Ali is a professional journalist with experience in Web3 journalism and marketing. Ali holds a Master's degree in Finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of leading cryptocurrency publications including Capital.com, CryptoSlate, Securities.io, Invezz.com, Business2Community, BeinCrypto, and more.