According to the most recent data from Scamwatch, Australians have continued to fall for investment and cryptocurrency-related scams, handing out 242.5 million Australian dollars to fraudsters in 2022.
The majority of the money lost to scams of any kind between January and July of this year was investment scams, which can include everything from traditional Ponzi schemes to cryptocurrency fraud.
The amount is already 36% higher than the total 2021 statistics, which showed that Australians lost 178.2 million AUD as a result of investment scams during the year.
In order to force greater investment in combating fraud, consumer activists are calling on banks to take on more responsibility for compensating victims.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported on September 8 that advocacy organizations are pressing for changes that would require banks to verify that the recipient’s name matches the account name when funds are transferred online.
Crypto scams cases attract more regulations
According to Consumer Action Law Centre CEO Gerard Brody, “the fundamental reform is to move that obligation from individual customers to banks when it comes to fraud damages.”
Broady also added that although banks ask for your account name, they don’t really verify it.
The PayID technology, which is optional and enables clients to view the name associated with a BSB and account number, is something that banks want more customers to use.
According to Brody, it is evident that the voluntary system that makes consumers exclusively responsible for avoiding scams is ineffective.
A rise in cryptocurrency frauds and hacks, as well as the broader market decline, seems to have increased Australian authorities’ monitoring of the cryptocurrency industry.
Sean Hughes, the commissioner of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), allegedly warned investors to recognize that investing in crypto assets is a type of “extreme risk-taking” on September 11.
The Australian Federal Police established a specialized unit to track cryptocurrency-related transactions in August after earlier labeling the technology an “emerging menace” due to an increase in criminal activities.
In August, the crypto exchange Binance Australia publicly stated that it was tightening the onboarding procedures for new users in order to protect those who have been identified as being most vulnerable to financial crypto crime. The month also saw the new Australian Labour government announce its position on industry regulation.
According to local media, ASIC commissioner Sean Hughes stated:
“We want to be very explicit and unambiguous in our communications to customers entering the market. We believe that cryptocurrency assets are extremely volatile, hazardous, and complex.”