Stopping fraudsters: another line in ANZ’s digital defence

Every day we hear warnings about fraud, scams and cybercrime. So why do we keep falling victim to them?

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As we enjoy the benefits of digitalisation in our daily lives we also take on navigating the risk posed by fraudsters. Threats such as social engineering attacks – including utilisation of real-time phishing and fraud from identity theft or identity takeover – can result in monetary loss and emotional distress.

"The growing level of sophistication can make it very difficult for our customers to differentiate between a legitimate digital interaction with their bank and a potential cyber threat.”

Fraud and scams are always evolving. The growing level of sophistication can make it very difficult for our customers to differentiate between a legitimate digital interaction with their bank and a potential cyber threat.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ScamWatch website, phishing scams are up 59 per cent in 2022 and remote access scams are on track to increase by 57 per cent this year. The Australian Bureau of Statistics also reported 2.1 million Australians (11 per cent) experienced one or more types of personal fraud in 2020-21.

At ANZ we have a sophisticated cyber-security protection capability and are always looking at innovative concepts and solutions to further strengthen this. We’re boosting our fraud prevention controls and strengthening ANZ’s real-time fraud detection capabilities in our digital channels by introducing behavioural biometrics.

Extra layer of security

Behavioural biometrics is an innovative technology that takes behavioural signals from how a customer interacts with a web page or device and, adds an extra layer of security and fraud detection. Behavioural biometrics can help identify situations where it’s likely a device is being used by an imposter or fraudster rather than the genuine customer. 

Behavioural biometrics analyses customer’s digital interaction behaviours such as keystroke movement and other behavioural attributes. Critically, this information will only be used to help protect against fraud and security threats and not for any other purpose. 

The solution uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help protect digital channels against account takeover and fraudulent transactions.

Below are the types of scams from across the financial services industry where the behavioural biometrics solution will make the biggest difference for our customers and community:

Earlier this year ANZ, along with a number of other financial institutions, was the target of a so-called ‘smishing’ attack. A number of customers reported receiving phishing messages asking them to verify their account. 

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Pic: Example of a scam text message

These types of attacks are characterised by the use of email and SMS phishing techniques coupled with using SMS one-time-passcodes (OTPs) to prompt customers to click on a link that takes them to a fake ANZ Internet Banking log-in page.

Once the customer enters their credentials into the fake site, the fraudster gains access to internet banking and the race to prevent or limit loss begins.

My team in Business Platform Services is focussed on building and maintaining the technology required to keep our customers’ banking safe and secure. We listen to real calls from customers affected by fraud and scams. It’s confronting and heart-breaking to hear the voices of people impacted and it is clear there’s more than just a financial impact for our customers. 

What customers can do to reduce the risk of fraud

  • Be aware of the latest security alerts. Threats to your banking security can come in many forms. While the scams we’ve mentioned isn't an exhaustive list it provides customers with insight on what to look for to protect their banking information.
  • Don’t reply to suspicious texts, calls or emails. ANZ will never email or message asking for personal information like password, PINs or account details. If you receive an SMS from ANZ about activity on your account and you’re not currently using any ANZ online banking services, don’t respond to it – but let us know. If you receive a suspicious message follow the steps outlined on ANZ’s fraud page.
  • Understand any potential security threats to your computer to help protect both your personal and financial details while you're online.
  • Understand how ANZ manages website security and data privacy.

Our customers place an enormous amount of trust in their bank to keep their finances safe and we take that responsibility very seriously.

We’ll continue to fight this war with innovative technology and clever, passionate people who want to make a difference. We’re attuned to the emerging trends of the cyber-security industry, partnering with other providers to ensure we focus on work that has clear value for our customers and helps keep their data safe.

Sascha Thiel is Head of Business Platform Services at ANZ

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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