NAB Blocks Crypto Payments Worth Over A$270 Million Due To Scam Concerns
- The National Australia Bank blocked payments worth over A$270 million to high-risk cryptocurrency exchanges in the past four months to prevent scams and frauds.
- NAB introduced several measures in the last six months to protect customers from scams, including payment prompts, stopping the use of links in unexpected text messages, and taking action on spoofing.
The National Australia Bank blocked over A$270m in payments to high-risk crypto exchanges to prevent scams and frauds, introducing measures to protect customers.
The National Australia Bank (NAB) has blocked payments worth over A$270 million to high-risk cryptocurrency exchanges in the past four months, citing the risk of scams and frauds. Similar steps have been taken by other Australian banks like Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and ANZ in recent weeks.
According to NAB Executive for Group Investigations and Fraud, Chris Sheehan, several measures have been introduced in the last six months to protect customers from scams, including introducing payment prompts, stopping the use of links in unexpected text messages, and taking action on spoofing.
The payment prompts feature a checklist based on uncharacteristic activity designed to get the customer to pause and review the payment before hitting send. Additionally, NAB is taking action to block payments to high-risk cryptocurrency exchanges to prevent scammers further. Mr. Sheehan believes that Australia needs to balance speed and safety in a digital economy and that conversations need to be had on the same.
NAB’s intervention in over $270 million worth of customer payments in the four months between March and July, which raised scam concerns, led to the abandonment of 12% of payments when customers received a real-time payment promptly in the app. While many customers ultimately complete their payment after receiving a prompt, around $290,000 worth of payments are abandoned daily. Mr. Sheehan’s research shows that four in ten Australians are ‘extremely willing’ for payments to be slower if they were better protected from scammers.
NAB’s announcement comes as almost 50% of scam funds reported to the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange were linked to cryptocurrency in a recent 30-day period. Cryptocurrency scams are one of the fastest-growing security threats, with Australians losing more than $221 million to them last year.
These scammers are part of organized transnational crime groups, and they are increasingly using cryptocurrency platforms to send stolen funds quickly and overseas. In response, NAB and other Australian banks are taking measures to protect their customers from such scams and frauds.