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Aussies to get money back faster from scams under new bank platform



Aussies may get their money back sooner after being scammed as part of a new platform used by the big banks to put their foot down on fraudulent behaviour.

The Fraud Reporting Exchange (FRX) is a digital platform used by member banks that allows "near real-time" reporting of fraudulent transactions that are either en route or already transferred to another bank.

The aim is to stop fraudulent transactions as they take place or freeze funds to return to customers as quickly as possible.

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"Given every minute can be crucial in disrupting scams, the launch of the FRX is a major development," Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said.

"It means more and more scammers are going to hit a brick wall and adds to the arsenal of anti-scam initiatives underway."

There are 17 banks already on board with the platform or in the process of joining so they can work together to stop scams taking thousands of dollars from customers.

But it isn't just up to the banks to notice whether a scam has taken place, Bligh said it is important for customers to report fraudulent activity too.

"The sooner that banks know about a fraud, the sooner they can take swift action to try to halt the payment before it gets to the scammers," she said.

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Bank impersonation scam texts

The platform, owned and operated by the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange, will streamline the communication between Aussie banks to ensure the customer is getting their money back faster.

It comes as Australians lost $3.1 billion to scams last year which is an 80 per cent increase on the year before.

On average, people were scammed about $20,000 each.

The government is also cracking down on scammers by launching a $58 million package to fund a National Anti-Scam Centre to launch offensive attacks on the criminal activity.

Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones said the anti-scam centre would have three key strategies, including the formation of units he described as "fusion cells" to "go after" criminals.

"This is about getting experts together across regulators, law enforcement, the finance sector, telecommunications and social media platforms, bringing their expertise together for a short-term action, a hit squad, to go after particular sorts of scams," he said.

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