ANZ deploys new algorithms, AI to tackle scams

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ANZ deploys new algorithms, AI to tackle scams

Prevents movement of tens of millions of dollars.

ANZ Banking Group has deployed over 170 algorithms and additional AI technology as part of an ongoing effort to combat scams and financial crime targeting its customers.

The bank said the most dominant scams involved third parties gaining remote access to computers and devices, where they accessed the account details of customers; closely followed by investment, romance and inheritance scams.

In response, ANZ’s newest measures include deploying more than 170 new algorithms that it said has so far prevented $20 million in losses across multiple payment channels.

ANZ has also made a "significant investment" in a new AI and machine learning-based capability to detect accounts used to receive funds from scam victims, known as mule accounts.

A pilot of the technology had detected nearly 1400 "high risk accounts" since April 2023; the bank did not say how many were actually used for money muling.

ANZ has also introduced new measures to prevent payments from being made to particularly high-risk cryptocurrency platforms, and implemented new holds to some payment types.

In addition, it is working with telecommunication companies to activate the Do Not Originate (DNO) service, which lets consumers know if a phone call is potentially being used to facilitate illegal and malicious activity.

ANZ is also working with the telcos to prevent bad actors from adopting the “ANZ” brand in scam text messages.

These SMS spoofing attacks often see fraudsters send texts from a legitimate organisation, which the bank said has been a common criminal tactic across Australia in recent months.

The new features are said to complement further measures introduced by the bank over the past year, including so-called behavioural biometrics, used to detect fraudulent online applications.

ANZ head of customer protection Shaq Johnson said the investment in new technologies and capabilities “is critical as we continue to work to protect our customers and the community from fraud and scams.”

“We are constantly reviewing and evolving our prevention and detection security settings as new scams emerge and scammers change how they operate," Johnson said.

“The threat of scammers is not new. Our advancements mean we are better placed to keep our customers safe from the threat of scams.

Johnson said the challenge “is that as soon as we close one avenue, the scammers quickly move to try and open another.”

“We continue to invest millions of dollars in new technology," Johnson said.

"As a result, over the last nine months, we’ve prevented $61 million from going to cyber-criminals."

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