Westpac partners with IDCARE to strengthen scams awareness and support in regional communities
50 rural support hubs to launch across Australia building scams resilience
15 November 2021
Westpac has today announced a new partnership with Australia’s National Identity and Cyber Support Service, IDCARE, to provide greater support for regional and rural Australians who are impacted by scams.
Through the partnership, Westpac will work with IDCARE as its banking partner to help launch a new Cyber Resilience Outreach Clinic Program, which will bring 50 new hubs to regional and rural communities that are at high risk of being targeted by scammers.
Westpac’s Chief Digital Officer, Jason Hair, says the program will include a strong focus on building greater education and awareness to help combat a rise in scams.
“Westpac has invested considerably in scam detection and prevention capabilities, but it’s equally important to focus on building better awareness and arming Australians with the knowledge they need to become more resilient against scammers.
“We’re excited to build on our existing partnership with IDCARE and deliver a program that will extend vital support services to help combat the impact of scams, particularly in regional and rural communities,” Hair said.
Westpac research has found one third (32%) of regional Australians have been scammed before, and on average will lose $4,300. According to IDCARE, Australians in regional and remote communities will experience losses almost 40 per cent greater compared to those in capital cities.
Westpac’s Director of Customer Vulnerability and Financial Resilience, Catherine Fitzpatrick, says it’s important to provide support for Australians in the bush.
“Scammers often play on our vulnerabilities, and this can include targeting people who might be more isolated or who are less digitally connected, so people living in more remote or rural areas are often in scammers’ sights.
“Not only is there often a financial loss when someone is scammed, but the emotional toll can be significant as well. This partnership will play an important role extending vital prevention and support services for those who really need it.
“The program will also build on the existing support we have in place through our dedicated Indigenous and remote banking team, as well as free scams educational resources that are available via Westpac’s Davidson Institute.
“After seeing a really big spike in scam activity during the pandemic I’d encourage all Australians to remain aware. Our research suggests those who have been scammed before are more likely to be scammed again, so always double check before making a purchase and stay up to date with the latest scams,” Fitzpatrick said.
More information about the latest scams is available at westpac.com.au/scams. Westpac customers can also contact 132 032 to seek assistance with a scam or to report suspicious activity.
Further details about Westpac’s remote banking services can also be found via the Westpac website.
For more information about IDCARE and the Cyber Resilience Outreach Clinics Program, visit www.idcare.org.