AUSTRAC Releases Guide to Detect and Prevent Illicit Crypto Activity

April 23, 2022, 10:15 AM AEST - 4 weeks ago

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) published two guides this week with hopes of helping Aussies detect and prevent illicit crypto activity.  

Focus on Ransomware, Debanking

AUSTRAC is helping companies identify when their customers are being forced to take part in paying ransomware creators or illicitly engaging with crypto. This assistance comes in the form of two guides and a warning that debanking customers without evidence is a harmful practice.

In what can be considered another positive step the government is taking to embrace cryptocurrency, the financial watchdog has been prompted to act after a recent increase in ransomware-related attacks and cases of debanking.

Open dialogue, pro-active guidance, and strong relationships between government and industry are necessary to ensure businesses can identify and report behaviour that puts Australians at risk of harm.

Steve Vallas, Blockchain Australia CEO

The release of these documents follows guides from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and AUSTRAC’s critical infrastructure bill.

ASIC and AUSTRAC Go After Scammers and ‘Finfluencers’

AUSTRAC and ASIC began investigating scammers deceiving crypto investors in March 2021. The investigation discovered that British scammers were stealing millions of dollars of crypto from Aussies.

The latest AUSTRAC guides come only weeks after ASIC released its guide warning Australian ‘Finfluencers’ of impending tighter regulations.

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