Commonwealth Bank is urging small businesses to be extra vigilant this tax season, as scammers use sophisticated tactics to rob hardworking Australians of their tax returns.

With the end of financial year approaching, scammers and cyber criminals generally ramp up their tax scam activity, using phishing tactics to steal log in credentials, then redirecting any tax return payments to their bank accounts.

Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager Small Business Banking, Bec Warren, said CBA usually sees a 400 per cent increase in businesses reporting member portal scams around this time of year.

“This just shows the determination scammers have to try to scam unassuming small business owners out of their hard-earned money.

“We all know small businesses are often family run, have fewer resources and not a lot of free time on their hands, which can make them more likely to miss some of the red flags they otherwise would have spotted,” Ms Warren said.

Member portal scams usually involve phishing for taxation or superannuation member portal credentials via email or text messages. Once scammers gain access, they alter payee details which usually results in tax returns or superannuation payouts being deposited into accounts controlled by the scammers.

Commonwealth Bank is urging small businesses to keep an eye out for any emails or texts asking them for their taxation portal login details, especially around this time of year.

“Make sure that, when you are entering your login details and passwords, you do so on the organisation’s official portal and do not click on any suspicious links. Scammers will usually create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly, not leaving you enough time to think,” Ms Warren said.

“This is why it’s always important to stop, check and reject any unusual emails, texts, links or payment requests.”

Helping customers stay safe by improving early detection and prevention of scams is among CBA’s highest priorities, and the bank continues to work to make Australian small businesses more resilient to scams.

We are focused on delivering initiatives that help small businesses stay safe by improving early detection and prevention of scams, such as NameCheck, CallerCheck and CustomerCheck, as well as progressive advances in our cyber protections.

  • NameCheck – currently available on Netbank and the CommBank app and being progressively rolled out on CommBiz, it uses advanced technology and CBA’s available payment data to give an indication of whether the account details provided look right.
  • CallerCheck - giving customers peace of mind when they receive a call from an unknown number that the bank is genuinely contacting them. 
  • CustomerCheck – in-app push notification and message in the CommBank app sent to the customer to confirm their identity in branch instead of using existing identification methods like signature.
  • Cyber Wardens – partnership with the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) and Telstra on a program designed to educate and upskill small businesses in cyber safety.

Go to CBA Newsroom for the latest news and announcements from Commonwealth Bank.


  • This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. You should consider seeking independent financial advice before making any decision based on this information. The information in this article and any opinions, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made, based on the information available at the time of its publication but no representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, is made or provided as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of any statement made in this article.

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