Westpac launches automated scam blockers when shopping online | #datingscams | #lovescams

Australia-based bank Westpac has started automatically blocking suspect online transactions from overseas retailers considered high-risk of being a scam.

Australians lost an estimated USD 323 million to online scams in 2021, and Westpac announced that merchants being blocked are exclusively registered overseas. They most commonly sell diet pills, nutrient supplements, online dating subscriptions, music subscriptions, and business support services.

The scam block works for customers using their Westpac credit or debit card to make purchases, including via third party mobile wallet providers. The lender said if a customer believes the payment is legitimate, they can contact Westpac’s scam assistance team to request the payment proceeds.

However according to Westpac, in more than 99% of cases in trials last year, customers did not proceed with the transaction after getting the scam alert, according to the press release. It’s estimated the blockers have stopped 69,000 customers losing more than USD 6 million, with an average saving of USD 87, the bank says.

Company officials stated that with their research showing these scams are costing Australians hundreds of millions each year, they’re ramping-up their investment in technologies which will help detect scams and prevent customers getting swindled.

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