Report: Australians suffer from massive surge in crypto scams

Australian investors are plagued by scams, with cryptocurrency-related fraudulent projects bringing in over $240 million Australian dollars to scammers’ pockets over the first six months of 2022.

According to data from Scamwatch, from January to July saw a massive increase in schemes with $242.5 million AUD lost to investment scams in the digital assets industry. According to historic data from Scamwatch, this figure is already much higher than the $178.2 million AUD that was lost to scams in 2021 in Australia, marking a 35% increase in the past six months compared to all of 2021.

Investors: Australian crypto investment needs regulation

According to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, groups are looking to the government and financial watchdogs to set up control to regulate the space. Investors and traders believe that banks should be liable when it comes to losses from scams. Consumer Action Law Centre CEO Gerard Brody has commented with agreement, saying that investors should be protected from the loss of scams – and not blamed as a vulnerable party. He noted:

“The key reform is to shift that liability from individual consumers to banks when it comes to scam losses. People probably don’t even know that when you do a bank transfer and you enter your BSB and account number. They [banks] ask you for the account name, but they don’t actually check.”

While Australian authorities have encouraged investors to be cautious of the risks associated with cryptocurrency scams, other authorities in the space across the world believes that there is still room for security increase. According to TSB Bank director of fraud prevention Paul Davis, in the UK, there should still be the onus on banks to look after their customers when it comes to scams. He commented:

“I think it’s important that these other sectors; technology, social media, and telecommunications, also stepped forward to stop these scams happening in the first place, and then bearing at least some of the costs of reimbursing the victim.”