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CommBank’s chilling warning amid outage

·2-min read
CommBank has issued a warning to customers. (Image: Getty).
CommBank has issued a warning to customers. (Image: Getty).

CommBank customers have been warned to stay alert against scams following a major outage on Wednesday.

Customers with Australia’s biggest bank reported being unable to access their NetBank or CommBank accounts on Wednesday afternoon. The operations problem was addressed by 11:30pm.

However, in two tweets the bank said customers should also be on their guard against scams as services resumed. Scammers often take advantage of outages to prey on confused customers. 

“If you receive a suspicious message you should not click any links and report it to us on 13 2221 or,” the bank said.

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In another tweet, the bank urged customers to “be vigilant for scams and fraud”.

“Remember, we will never ask for your PIN, Netcode SMS or password details.”

In a statement, a CommBank spokesperson said keeping customers' details secure was a priority for the banks.

“We invest in state of the art fraud prevention and detection technology to detect unusual activity. We also work closely with law enforcement agencies and other banks to share information and mitigate threats to the Australian community," they said.

"We are always very concerned when we are made of aware of scams affecting customers and despite the commitment and best efforts of regulators, law enforcement agencies and the banking industry, such scams sadly still occur and customers are tricked into sending money to scammers.

"Scams are an industry-wide issue and we undertake our absolute best endeavours to attempt to recover any money that has been sent to these scammers as soon as we are made aware of the payment. Customers should notify us immediately on 13 2221 if they think they have been scammed."

This isn’t the first time scammers have attempted to take advantage of a bank outage.

CommBank customers were also a target in 2019, when the bank deposited $50 into the accounts of users who were unable to access their cash over the weekend.

The bank was forced to put out a warning advising customers that it would not be contacting customers to provide the money, and would instead be depositing the sum automatically into their accounts.

The bank also issued an alert on Tuesday against a CommBank-themed phishing email. In this email, targets are told their account is missing vital security information.

However, this is a scam, with customers told not to reply to the sender, click any links or share any information.

Scammers are becoming increasingly active in Australia, with Australians already losing nearly $108 million to the criminals in 2021. That means we’re on track to exceed the $176 million lost in 2020.

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