10 stories this week:


CBA’s anti-fraud tech move has angered this start-up founder – 10 February 2023
Colin Porter, who set up PayOK in 2021 to target the growing number of payment redirection scams, says CBA’s launch of its own solution rather than adopting an industry one will make it harder to solve a problem costing Australian businesses more than $200 million a year.


SMS registry could block scams that cost Australians more than $1m a day – 12 February 2023
The Australian Communications and Media Authority, will explore the implementation of an SMS sender ID register that would block cyber criminals from sending texts, appearing to be from agencies such as the Australian Tax Office (ATO), myGov and Australia Post.


Former NSW Adviser Banned by ASIC Permanently – 13 February 2023
ASIC has permanently banned Sean John Sweeney of Lindfield, New South Wales, after he was convicted of fraud offences on 4 November 2022. Financial advisers must act with honesty and integrity in their dealings with clients.


Federal MP’s offices to have Chinese surveillance cameras replaced – 14 February 2023
Officials have confirmed they are ripping out Chinese-made surveillance cameras in the offices of federal MPs across the country, due to fears that it contains spy-ware.


Aussie bank makes clever move to stop sneaky new text scam – 14 February 2023
NAB is now placing bank phone numbers on the ‘Do Not Originate’ list to help reduce scam calls impersonating NAB numbers. The bank has also added additional protections to reduce scam messages appearing in legitimate bank text message threads. This has already resulted in a 50 per cent reduction in these types of spoofing cases, leading to a 70 per cent reduction in customer losses.


Commonwealth spends more than $7.6 million in prosecuting whistleblowers including Bernard Collaery, David McBride and Richard Boyle – 14 February 2023
The Commonwealth has racked up more than $7.6 million in legal fees pursuing whistleblowers, with the bulk of that bill relating to a now-dumped prosecution. The case against Bernard Collaery and Witness K cost the Commonwealth $5,510,829. Whistleblowing advocates have criticised the government for pursuing David McBride and Richard Boyle and the NSW Greens senator David Shoebridge, said it was a “lavish use of taxpayer funds”.


The major areas ASIC is patrolling for offenders this year – 15 February 2023
ASIC is targeting predatory lending, shonky insurance price promises and firms lying about their green credentials, as the major areas it will look to prosecute offenders in the coming year.


Alleged Deloitte fraudster ‘used CEO’s name to lure investors’ – 16 February 2023
Investors who poured millions of dollars into a suspected fraudulent scheme run by ex-Deloitte partner Amberjit Endow, say he convinced them to join, by telling them the Australian boss of the consulting giant was among the senior staff who were early investors. Investors estimate the case could involve more than $60 million.


(Access to digital version of SMH required to read article.)

Watchdog won’t probe fraud allegations against Adani – 16 February 2023
Australia’s corporate regulator has decided not to pursue allegations of fraud and stock manipulation leveled against the Adani Group. ASIC took a close look at the report and found that only a small portion of the allegations related to the Indian company’s Australian operation.


ATO says millions in annual tax could have been lost due to PwC confidentiality breaches – 16 February 2023
A former PwC partner was recently sanctioned by the Tax Practitioners Board for integrity breaches, after it was revealed he shared confidential briefings with colleagues, despite signing three confidentiality agreements. The ATO has told a Senate estimates hearing, that when the new laws took effect in 2016, “within weeks” an avoidance scheme was being marketed to overseas-based clients of PwC to circumvent the new arrangements.