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Australian banks block payments to ‘high risk’ crypto exchanges

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National Australia Bank joins other major Australian banks in blocking payments to “high-risk” cryptocurrency exchanges to protect customers.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) announced on Monday that it had blocked some payments to “high-risk” cryptocurrency exchanges in recent months to protect its customers.

The lender said Australians lost an estimated $151 million last year due to cryptocurrency-related scams. The NAB did not disclose which platforms it involved.

NAB paralyzes million-dollar payments between March and July

In a statement, the NAB said it had “intervened” in more than AU$270 million in payments, raising concerns about fraud in the last four months between March and July.

The bank said it had introduced several measures to protect its customers from scams. Chris Sheehan, NAB fraud and group investigations executive, said:

The introduction of payment warnings, anti-phishing actions and stopping the use of links in unexpected text messages are among the key measures we have recently introduced.

We are now also taking steps to block some payments to high-risk cryptocurrency exchanges in an extra effort to thwart scammers.

He added:

“While many customers complete their payment after receiving a request, we see about $290,000 in abandoned payments daily. This tells us that customers take the time to stop and think before making a payment.

While we’re focused on making banking simple and digital, we’ve added that extra friction to help alert customers to red flags. We need to do everything we can to stop crime before it happens.”

Australian banks tighten up to prevent customers from falling victim to scams

NAB joins Commonwealth Bank of Australia in restricting customer payments to “certain” exchanges due to cryptocurrency-related scams.

The NAB further said in its statement that nearly 50% of the fraudulent funds reported to the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange were tied to cryptocurrency in a recent 30-day period.

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