Scam Money Is Laundered via Crypto Exchanges — Australian Regulator

A significant portion of scam money is getting laundered through cryptocurrency exchanges, the CEO of the Australian Banking Association has alleged. The Australian Financial Crimes Exchange said as much as 47% of all fraud and financial scam proceeds in the country are washed on crypto exchange platforms.

Crypto a ‘Getaway Vehicle for Scam Money’

According to Anna Bligh, the CEO of the Australian Banking Association (ABA), an “alarming” portion of scam money often gets laundered via cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The CEO added that Australian authorities must also do more to “ensure cryptocurrency is not used as the getaway vehicle for scam money.” This would be in addition to stopping scams from reaching Australians via mobile phones, emails and social media, a report said.

The remarks by Bligh are seemingly backed by the latest data from the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange (AFCX). The data reportedly shows that as much as 47% of all proceeds from fraud and financial scams in the country are processed by cryptocurrency exchanges. David Pegley, the managing director of AFCX, added that once the funds are on a crypto platform “it is extremely difficult to recover them.”

To combat this problem, a report by the Australian Financial Review said many banks are now restricting the amount of funds sent to crypto exchanges.

“To protect customers, several banks have responded by imposing limitations on transfers to these exchanges,” the CEO reportedly said.

Burdening Users With Undue Restrictions

Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, National Australia Bank, Westpac, and Bendigo & Adelaide Bank are among the Australian financial institutions which have imposed limits on the amount of funds that customers can transfer to crypto exchanges.

Commenting on banks’ decision to target crypto entities, Blockchain Australia said it favors a more balanced approach, noting:

The protection of consumers is paramount, both in protection from scams and not burdening consumers with undue restrictions in who they choose to do business with, which must be evidence-based to ensure they bring genuine benefits without undue costs.

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