Australian Bank Westpac to Protect Investors from Crypto-Related Scams
One of the biggest banks in Australia works on combating fraudulent crypto activity.
Westpac, one of the most prominent banks in Australia, is taking measures against fraudulent activities tied to cryptocurrencies.
In particular, the bank is setting up a trial to test scam protection tools designed to decrease losses from scams and minimize related risks.
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As stated in their media release published on May 18th, investment scams represent about half of all losses reported by their customers, with a third of these scams involving direct transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges. These transactions are exceptionally difficult to trace, further exacerbating the issue.
Scott Collary, Westpac’s group executive for customer services and technology, acknowledged the legitimacy of digital exchanges within the financial ecosystem.
Digital exchanges have a legitimate role to play in the financial ecosystem. But since the rise of digital currency, we’ve noticed that scammers are increasingly using overseas exchanges.
Westpac’s planned trial of crypto payment protection blocks is set to roll out in stages, starting in late May. This initiative comes alongside other recent initiatives, such as Westpac Verify. This service alerts customers of potential discrepancies in account names when making payments to a new account or when sending money to an account with which Westpac has no previous transaction history.
According to consumer advocacy group Choice, Australians have lost more than $129 million due to cryptocurrency scams. In 2021, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission recorded over 12,000 reports of such scams.
Typical warning signs of crypto investment scams include misleading social media ads, fake websites, counterfeit documents, and the use of spoofing software.
Interestingly, this announcement coincides with the news that Binance customers cannot use PayID for Australian dollar transfers. A third-party service provider imposed limitations on the crypto exchange, impacting bank transfer withdrawals.