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New Netsafe alliance formed to combat rising cyber fraud
Wed, 10th Jan 2024

In a bid to combat the growing and evolving threat of cyber fraud, a new alliance led by Netsafe and including specialist Australian fraud recovery company CYBERA, alongside Dolla and Akahu, has been formed. The collaboration aims to mitigate scams and fraud in the banking, cryptocurrency and telecommunications sectors. With cyber threats costing the New Zealand economy up to NZD 2 billion annually, the collaboration promises to boost consumer safety.

The partnership will provide a suite of solutions to deliver robust consumer services, fraud recovery, and scam prevention measures. These measures include a confirmation of payee service, enabling consumers to verify the name associated with the bank account they are paying. This service additionally streamlines scam investigations providing Netsafe with the tools to identify and freeze mule accounts more swiftly, thereby restraining further damage. Additional provisions include enhanced filtering measures for SMS messages to effectively monitor harmful content and assist individuals in making informed decisions to protect themselves and their loved ones from digital scams.

The alliance combines the expertise of Netsafe, a leader in scam incident response and in providing consumer protection services, with the specialised fraud recovery support and intelligence sharing capabilities of CYBERA. Dolla's filtering and blocking technology for scam SMS's and Akahu' s innovative confirmation of payee service will further augment the collective power against cyber fraudsters.

The CEO of Netsafe, Brent Carey, stated that the collaboration with Akahu, Dolla, and CYBERA, was aimed at utilising collective strengths to deliver innovative and robust consumer services, fraud recovery, and scam prevention measures. The joint venture aims to stay a step ahead of fraudsters in the face of evolving cyber threats, thereby safeguarding the financial interests of New Zealanders.

Dolla's Founder and CEO Ben Lynch added that text message scams have become increasingly hard to identify and as a result, their partnership with Netsafe will enhance users' ability to filter harmful incoming messages. This can aid individuals in the decision-making process to protect against digital scams. The CEO of CYBERA, Nicola Staub, echoed these sentiments stating that their joint efforts will not only tackle fraud but proactively safeguard financial well-being from the evolving cyber threats.

Netsafe is also implementing Akahu's confirmation of payee service. This will enable payers to verify the name on the bank account that they are paying into. Netsafe investigators can use this tool to investigate scam reports more efficiently and disrupt fraudsters' plans. Additionally, Akahu's co-founder, Josh Daniell, agreed that as scams evolve, their anti-scam tools need to keep pace. He saw the use of confirmation of payee as a crucial means of prevention and disruption of fraud attempts.

Netsafe is continuing to explore more partnerships with commercial and NGO players in local and global safety tech market, with an objective to protect New Zealanders from online harm. The safety tech market was estimated to be worth 4.2 billion in 2022/23, according to a recent International State of Safety Tech Report by Palendin, Public and Perspective Economics.