Westpac tests new cryptocurrency blocks to prevent scam losses
Westpac announces that it has begun trialling new customer protections for some cryptocurrency payments to reduce scam losses.
The announcement was issued after clients of Binance Australia experienced problems with withdrawals earlier today.
The latest Westpac data shows investment scams account for approximately half of all scam losses and a third of all scam payments are transferred directly to a cryptocurrency exchange.
Westpac Group Executive of Customer Services and Technology, Scott Collary, estimates the new security measures could save customers millions of dollars.
“Digital exchanges have a legitimate role to play in the financial ecosystem. But since the rise of digital currency, we’ve noticed that scammers are increasingly using overseas exchanges,” Mr Collary said.
“Often our customers only discover they’ve been scammed after the money has left the country, making recovery extremely difficult. The trial of our new security measures will better protect customers from scams. In particular, it will target investment scams, which have a devastating impact on our customers.”
A phased trial of the new protection blocks will be rolled out over the coming weeks.
The new measures follow other recent scam initiatives, including Westpac Verify which alerts customers if there is a potential account name mismatch for some payments to a new BSB and account number or when money is sent to an account Westpac has never transacted with before.
Westpac scam prevention measures:
- Westpac Verify. Customers are alerted to a potential account name mismatch for first-time transfers to a new payee, or where money is being sent to an account Westpac has never transacted with before, for payments made via the New Payments Platform (NPP). Payments are paused for four hours so customers have an opportunity to check if payment details are correct. Over $250,000 saved for customers since March 2023.
- Dynamic CVC. Customers can access a Digital Card in the Westpac app to make purchases safely with a dynamic 3-digit security code that changes daily. Reduces card fraud rates by 80% compared to physical cards.
- Scam block. Real-time blocking of suspect online merchants, with over $131 million saved for 1.54 million scam cases since January 2022.
- Stopping spoofing calls. Westpac worked with its telecommunication provider Optus to add 94,000 Westpac numbers to the ‘Do Not Originate’ list, preventing scammers from impersonating the bank’s phone numbers.
- Sophisticated detection technology. Advanced customer behavioural tool launched in mid-2022 to help combat remote access scams, saving over $13 million for customers to date.
- Dedicated Financial Crime Hub. Recently opened in Parramatta Square bringing over 500 scam, fraud & financial crime specialists together.