National Australia Bank (NAB), one of the country's biggest banks, is taking out links from all their messages to prevent customers from clicking on the fake ones. The links have been replaced with advice to access directly the bank's website, to call the bank, or to use internet banking or the app.
Australians have lost millions to bank impersonation scams: calls that look like they come from a bank's legitimate phone number or phishing texts that impersonate their bank.
Scamwatch received 14,603 reports of bank impersonation scams in 2022, resulting in more than $20 million in losses. Total losses to all reported phone and text scams in 2022 were estimated at more than $169 million.
The safest way to bank online nowadays is to avoid links altogether because just one click on a tricky one could lead to financial losses.
"My advice is don't click on a link. If you get an unexpected text message that looks like it's from NAB and it contains a link, don't click on it.", recommends NAB chief executive Ross McEwan.
According to Catriona Lowe, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chair, the average loss is $22,000, and there have been more than 90 reports of losses between $40,000 and $800,000.
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