NAB joins Aussie banking crypto crackdown

By July 18, 2023 In Australia, Cryptocurrencies, Exchanges, NAB, Scams

NAB is the latest Australian bank to clamp down on cryptocurrency traders because of fraud risks and predatory scammers.

The bank announced it will block “some payments” made to “high-risk” cryptocurrency exchanges, following similar moves by Commonwealth Bank and Westpac.

NAB did not list which exchanges were on its blacklist, only saying it was introducing blocks on cryptocurrency platforms “where scams are more prevalent”.

National Australia Bank in Sydney.NAB is rolling out high-risk crypto protections. (Reuters)

Crypto scams are one of the fastest-growing security threats, with Australians losing more than $221 million to them last year.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Aussies reported 3910 crypto scam incidents in 2022, with the average victim stripped of $56,600.

Almost 50 per cent of scam funds reported to the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange were linked to cryptocurrency in a recent 30-day period.

“These scammers are part of organised, transnational crime groups,” NAB’s chief fraud investigator Chris Sheehan said.

“Increasingly, we’re seeing them use cryptocurrency platforms to send stolen funds quickly and often overseas.”

Crypto scams represented 7.1 per cent of the total $3.1 billion worth of scams reported in Australia last year, the ACCC reported.

In June, Commonwealth Bank limited transfers to high-risk crypto exchanges.

That followed Westpac’s decision in May to ban customers transacting with Dubai-based Binance , the world’s largest exchange.

In April, Binance lost its Australian financial licence after an investigation by Australia’s corporate watchdog .

Beyond crypto scams, NAB said it had intervened in more than $270 million worth of customer payments which had raised concerns between March and July. has contacted NAB for comment.

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