National Australia bank to block payments to “high-risk” crypto platforms
- NAB joined other banks in the country to restrict crypto-related payments.
- Australians lost $148.3 million from investment scams in 2022 where crypto payment method was used, as per an April report.
National Australia Bank (NAB) will block payments to “high-risk” crypto exchanges to protect its customers. The leading Australian bank announced on 17 July a slew of new measures to protect customers from scams as part of its “bank-wide scam strategy.” NAB did not specify which crypto platforms this directive will affect.
The statement read,
More broadly, cryptocurrency scams are one of the fastest-growing security threats, with Australians losing more than $221 million to them last year.
NAB Executive for Group Investigations and Fraud Chris Sheehan said,
We’re now also taking action to block some payments to high-risk cryptocurrency exchanges in a further effort to stop scammers.
The bank also withheld payments totaling $183.8 million between March and July 2023, the statement read. The bank did not specify how many of these alerts were related to crypto-related scams.
NAB follows a number of other Australian banks in adopting a cautious approach towards cryptocurrency in recent months.
Westpac Banking Corp., Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd began curbing access to crypto exchanges recently.
Crypto scams cost Australians $148.3 million in 2022
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the consumer regulator, published a report in April. As per the report, Australians lost $148.3 million from investment scams in which cryptocurrency was the payment method in 2022.
The figure represents 7.1% of the total $2.08 billion worth of scams reported in the country for 2022. The average Australian victim lost $37,900 as there were reports of 3,910 crypto scam incidents last year.
Data showed that crypto scammers mostly contacted victims through social media and networking apps.
ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe commented,
“We have seen alarming new tactics emerge which make scams incredibly difficult to detect. This includes everything from impersonating official phone numbers, email addresses and websites of legitimate organizations to scam texts that appear in the same conversation thread as genuine messages.”