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National Australia Bank Implements Measures to Combat Cryptocurrency Fraud

Transaction Blocks Introduced for Digital Currency Platforms with High Scam Rates

Mon, 17 Jul 2023, 12:40 pm UTC

Australia's National Australia Bank (NAB) has taken decisive action on July 17 to protect its customers from potential fraud in the cryptocurrency sector. The bank has announced a halt to transactions with certain digital currency platforms known for their high scam rates, as part of its comprehensive approach to combating fraud.

Between March and July 2023, NAB withheld millions in payments, and the bank plans to enforce transaction blocks on selected cryptocurrency platforms associated with high scam incidences. This proactive measure aims to provide robust protection against fraudulent activities for NAB customers.

While the bank has not disclosed the specific digital currency exchanges affected by the transaction blocks, Chris Sheehan, NAB's executive in charge of group investigations and fraud, emphasized that the measures will primarily target platforms with an elevated scam risk.

Sheehan highlighted the presence of organized transnational crime groups behind many of these scams, exploiting cryptocurrency platforms to swiftly transfer ill-gotten gains, often across international borders. Sheehan hinted that prominent crypto exchange Binance could potentially fall under the bank's comprehensive regulations.

NAB's actions align with previous steps taken by other Australian banking giants, including Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank, which reportedly suspended payments to Binance in recent months. Neither NAB nor Binance have commented on these claims thus far.

The bank's announcement underscores a growing concern among local banks, attributing nearly half of the reported scam funds in Australia to cryptocurrency-related activities. NAB's statement highlights the alarming surge in cryptocurrency scams as one of the fastest-growing security threats, with Australians losing over $221 million last year alone.

Furthermore, the bank mentioned that 40% of Australians are willing to accept slower payments in exchange for robust protection against scams, demonstrating a shared understanding among customers of the need for safer transactions in this volatile industry.

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