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Australia's Best Interventions Against Scammers with Toby Evans of the Australian Payment Network (AusPayNet) - Global Anti-Scam Summit Europe 2024

Date of Event: 2024-06-24

Event: Global Anti-Scam Summit Europe 2024

Toby Evans from AusPayNet discussed Australia's recent successes and ongoing efforts in combating scams. He emphasized the critical role of accurate data in identifying issues and efficiently allocating resources. Evans mentioned a significant reduction in scam losses, with official data showing a decrease of 133%, bringing total losses down to 2.7 billion AUD. This improvement is attributed to enhanced data sharing and collaboration among organizations like the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the National Anti-Scam Center.

Evans highlighted several key initiatives, including the Confirmation of Payee (CoP) system, which matches payee details to reduce mistaken payments and certain types of scams. The implementation of risk-based friction, setting payment limits for high-risk merchants, and using behavioral tools to detect and prevent fraud has also been effective. Banks like Westpac and Commonwealth Bank have introduced interactive consumer alerts, prompting consumers to verify transactions and think twice before proceeding.

A notable development is the Fraud Reporting Exchange, a system that allows for quick reporting and shutting down of scam enablers, such as phone numbers and URLs. This system also facilitates funds tracing and repatriation within a crucial 72-hour window. Evans discussed the importance of an ecosystem approach, involving collaboration across sectors like telecommunications and digital currency exchanges to block scam attempts and improve overall security. Government-led website takedowns have also been successful, removing thousands of scam-related sites.

Evans mentioned the upcoming Scams Code, a regulation requiring all industries involved in the scam lifecycle to adhere to minimum standards, with financial penalties for non-compliance. He also stressed the importance of international collaboration, particularly with partners in the UK and India, to combat cross-border scams and build intelligence networks.

The session concluded with a discussion on handling false positives in scam reporting and the importance of consumer education. By informing consumers about new security features and verification methods, the overall effectiveness of these initiatives can be enhanced. Australia's multi-faceted approach, involving accurate data, cross-sector collaboration, and innovative technological solutions, has led to significant reductions in scam losses and improved overall security. Continued efforts and international partnerships remain crucial for sustaining and building on these successes.


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