NAB reveals top scams to watch out for in 2024

- January 11, 2024 3 MIN READ


National Australia Bank (NAB) has issued a warning to business owners to remain vigilant as a swathe of new scams are set to impact Australians in 2024.

NAB’s fraud and cybersecurity experts have identified six prominent scams, urging business owners to stay vigilant and arm themselves against the evolving tactics employed by scammers.

NAB customers reported an alarming average of 1,500 scam cases every month in 2023, with a staggering 70 per cent involving some form of impersonation. The financial institution has highlighted the need for heightened awareness, emphasising the ever-changing “scamscape” that poses new challenges each year.

The top six scams identified by NAB are:

  1. AI voice impersonation scams: Criminals are leveraging sophisticated technology, creating deceptive voices with as little as three seconds of audio from social media posts, voicemails, or online videos.
  2. Term deposit investment scams: Scammers lure victims with enticing term deposit rates, claiming availability for a limited time to create a false sense of urgency.
  3. Remote access scams using Chat: Fraudsters manipulate victims through remote access scams, exploiting chat functionalities to gain unauthorised access to sensitive information.
  4. Romance scams: Emotional manipulation plays a significant role in this cyber threat, where scammers build trust and exploit emotions to extract money.
  5. Ticket scams: With the promise of cheap concert tickets going quickly, scammers use the urgency tactic to encourage immediate action.
  6. QR code phishing scams: The rise of QR code usage presents a new avenue for scammers to exploit, tricking individuals into divulging personal information.

NAB Manager for Advisory Awareness, Laura Hartley, suggested that the use of AI is expected to elevate these threats to unprecedented levels in 2024. While individuals are unwinding during the new year, scammers are actively devising new strategies to manipulate victims when least expected.

“Criminals are targeting Aussies enjoying their break by using sophisticated technology to manipulate victims when and where they least suspect it.

“We have identified these six scams based on what we’re seeing overseas and key issues and challenges in society. These are scams every Australian needs to know about so they can recognise the red flags and protect themselves,” Hartley said.

Businesses need to be proactive

Hartley said NAB continues its proactive fight against scammers through a bank-wide strategy. Initiatives include removing links from customer text messages, introducing payment alerts to digital banking, and creating new reporting channels for customers to report fraud through digital platforms. As part of this effort, over $50 million worth of payments have been abandoned by customers in the past eight months.

Despite these measures, NAB customers still report an average of 1,500 scams monthly, underscoring the critical need for individuals to promptly contact their bank if they suspect they have fallen victim to a scammer.

Business owners are urged to stay informed, educate their teams, and remain vigilant against these emerging threats in 2024.

“Scammers create a sense of urgency to encourage you to act quickly. It could be a phone call from your ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ in distress and needing money, a fantastic term deposit rate that’s only available for a limited time or cheap concert tickets going quickly,” Hartley said.

“AI voice scams are one of the six we are closely watching in 2024. They can be created with as little as three seconds of audio taken from a social media post, voicemail or video on a website. We know they are happening in the UK and US, in particular, and anticipate it’s just a matter of time before these scams head down under.

“We will always do what we can but it’s often very hard to recover money once it’s in a criminal’s account. That’s why we need to stop the crime before it happens.

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