HomeNewsNational Australia Bank Takes Stand Against 'High-Risk' Crypto Exchanges

National Australia Bank Takes Stand Against ‘High-Risk’ Crypto Exchanges

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  • National Australia Bank (NAB) plans to limit payments to ‘high-risk’ cryptocurrency exchanges as part of its customer protection strategy.
  • According to a recent report, Australians lost $148.3 million to investment scams involving cryptocurrency payments in 2022.

In a decisive move to protect its customer base, the National Australia Bank (NAB) has declared its intention to curtail payments to ‘high-risk’ cryptocurrency exchanges. This major Australian banking institution announced its new protective measures on July 17, part of its broader initiative termed as ‘bank-wide scam strategy.’ The exact crypto platforms affected by this directive remain unspecified by NAB.

Cryptocurrency Scams: A Rising Concern

In the wider context, cryptocurrency scams have emerged as one of the fastest accelerating security threats. Australians fell prey to such schemes to the tune of more than $221 million in the previous year.

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NAB’s Executive for Group Investigations and Fraud, Chris Sheehan, outlined the bank’s position stating,

“We’re now also taking action to block some payments to high-risk cryptocurrency exchanges in a further effort to stop scammers.”

During the period between March and July 2023, NAB also suspended payments totaling $183.8 million, as mentioned in the statement. However, the bank did not clarify the proportion of these alerts that were directly tied to crypto-related scams.

The stance taken by NAB echoes similar moves made by other Australian banks. Westpac Banking Corp., Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd have all recently adopted more cautious stances towards cryptocurrency, restricting access to crypto exchanges.

The Extent of Crypto Scams in Australia

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In April, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the nation’s consumer regulator, released a report indicating that Australians were defrauded of $148.3 million in investment scams where cryptocurrency served as the payment method in 2022.

This figure represents 7.1% of the total $2.08 billion worth of scams reported across Australia in 2022. On average, an Australian victim lost $37,900, as the year witnessed 3,910 crypto scam incidents.

Data revealed that crypto scammers predominantly reached out to victims through social media and networking applications.

Commenting on the situation, ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe expressed concerns over the rise of highly sophisticated scam tactics that are incredibly difficult to detect, including impersonation of official phone numbers, email addresses, websites of legitimate organizations, and scam texts appearing in legitimate message threads.

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Jane Smith
Jane Smith
As a Bitcoin Journalist, I am dedicated to reporting the latest developments in cryptocurrency, with a particular focus on Bitcoin. Through extensive research and interviews with industry experts, I provide accurate and up-to-date information on the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrencies. My goal is to help readers stay informed and make informed decisions regarding their investments in this rapidly changing field.
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