VoiceOver users please use the tab key when navigating expanded menus

Fighting scams with community innovation

There is a lot of fear about whether a person is being scammed. Many people may lack the necessary knowledge or resources to navigate these situations effectively.” – Claire Butler, Financial Capability Program Manager, Brotherhood of St Laurence

In 2023, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Targeting Scams report revealed Australians made more than 601,000 scam reports, an 18.5 per cent increase on 2022.


While there was a 13.1 per cent decline in reported losses to scams, more work is required to educate Australians on the threat of scams. The report highlights the urgent need for more comprehensive educational programs to combat this widespread issue in the community.


In response, ANZ’s MoneyMinded financial education program, which since inception has empowered more than 927,000 adults with essential money management skills, has launched an innovative new scams module to help address financial scams in Australia.


More than 5,000 existing MoneyMinded Coaches can now use the module with their clients to cover topics including phishing, remote access scams and romance scams.


One of MoneyMinded’s most valuable features is its adaptability to suit the contextual needs of participants. This flexibility made it the ideal platform to enhance community defences against financial scams and educate Australians on safeguarding their finances.


Community in mind


The module was designed with community and accessibility at the forefront. 


To tailor the module to audience needs, the content was placed in a beach setting. Utilising everyday beach scenarios to convey the narrative of scams and scammers, highlighting how seemingly innocuous situations can unexpectedly pose financial risks.


By depicting realistic scenarios, it makes the threat of scams more relatable and underscores anyone can be targeted.


For example, scammers may pose as an authoritative figure and scare you into handing over your money; much like a phony parking inspector at the beach asking you to pay for parking.



The module content aims to raise awareness and provide practical advice on avoiding scams, empowering viewers to protect themselves.


It includes animations, prompt cards, coach guides and participant handouts and equips community professionals with tools to help their clients identify and protect themselves from various types of scams.


Through the program ANZ reinforces its commitment to customer safety, builds trust and  positions itself as an ally in combating financial scams.


From a trainer’s perspective


The scams content will provide significant benefits to MoneyMinded Coaches.


“The importance of integrating scam awareness into financial education, especially given the increasing prevalence of scams in the digital age, is important for us coaches and our clients’ financial education”, said Claire Butler, Financial Capability Program Manager at the Brotherhood of St Laurence.


Scams are pervasive and can target anyone, regardless of background or levels of financial literacy.


“There is a lot of fear about whether or not a person is being scammed. Many people may lack the necessary knowledge or resources to navigate these situations effectively. Without proper guidance individuals may resort to guesswork or rely on others for assistance leaving them susceptible to financial exploitation,” Claire said.


Prior to this latest module, Claire observed a common trend among individuals who had encountered potential scam situations. It was usually while clients were paying bills, particularly online.


In these situations, individuals received a suspicious message or encountered a dubious transaction, prompting them to question the legitimacy of the communication or transaction.


Despite most Australians best efforts, many individuals struggle to discern whether it is a scam or a legitimate issue with their billing payments. This uncertainty can be confusing.


“We are all human and these things happen to us. They can happen to people everywhere. And that is why it's important we have information we know and trust,” Claire said.


MoneyMinded ensures Coaches and their clients have access to up-to-date information and support resources. Equipping people with tools to identify and respond to scams can foster a safer and secure financial environment.


Through collaborative efforts and proactive education, it strengthens financial literacy and enhances community resilience against scams.


Kate Bellott is Community Partnerships Manager at ANZ

related articles:

Helping people experiencing family violence

ANZ’s flagship financial education program MoneyMinded continues to develop modules to help victims of family violence.

A helping hand in the fight against scams and fraud

In this video series we meet Perry, the ANZ ranger educating customers on cyber-crime prevention

Savings for a roof over your head, and for rainy days to come

The Saver Plus program has helped 53,000 people save more than $27 million. It’s also helped people like Danielle with her long-term saving goal of home ownership.