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Stop scams by making banks reimburse fraud | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp

Commonwealth Bank of Australia has suggested the telecommunications companies to share the load when scams are made by phone call or SMS, arguing the new code needs to cover all players in the system. But Mr Brody said consumers had a right to expect their bank would be their point of contact for compensation.

“The consumer complaint is going to be against the bank, if the banks want to follow through with the telco they should do it themselves, not direct the consumer to go through a convoluted process,” Mr Brody said.

The telecommunications companies are currently subject to the Reducing Scam Calls Code, administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. In a recent speech, ACCC chairman Gina Cass-Gottlieb said the code had led to a 50 per cent fall in scam calls and 357 million scam calls being blocked in its first year.

Mr Brody said Australia remains a laggard when it comes to regulation in this area, after the United Kingdom moved to legislate the contingent reimbursement model code, which he said obliges signatory banks to have systems in place to protect victims.

“The UK government just introduced legislation to mandate it and the payments system regulator there has the power to mandate banks reimburse customers,” he said.

The Australian Banking Association responded to calls from the competition watchdog for banks to do more to prevent scams, launching a public awareness campaign with 13 of its biggest members.

Australian banks have resisted calls for them to conduct mandatory checks and have instead launched the new “Australian Banks: Working to Protect You” campaign, which encourages customers to use PayID.

The ABA said Australian banks had spent about $19 billion on IT systems to build resilience over the past year, including against scams, but highlighted that issues were not limited to the banks alone.

Mr Brody said PayID was a good solution but the banks didn’t make it easy for customers to use the services. “If they were more liable for losses they would probably make it easier to get on to the new system, maybe even be incentivised to close down the old ones,” he said.

The state ministers for consumer affairs will meet with Stephen Jones in Adelaide on Friday to discuss policies to reduce scams and improve protections on the internet.

The Labor government has promised “tough new industry codes” for banks, telecommunications providers, social media providers and government agencies “to clearly define responsibilities for protecting consumers and businesses”.

Treasury is now developing this policy, and early consultation with the banks and other sectors is under way.

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