Bendigo Bank blocks high-risk crypto payments

This new move will protect customers from financial crime

Bendigo Bank blocks high-risk crypto payments


By Mina Martin

Bendigo Bank has continued to protect its customers from fraud and financial crime by blocking high-risk cryptocurrency transactions.

The bank’s new rules will target high-risk instant payments to cryptocurrency exchanges to further protect its 2.3 million customers from investment scams, which have already cost Australians nearly $200 million this year, according to ScamWatch.

The new rules add to a tightening of transaction rules implemented earlier this year, which were already helping address the issue.

“Investment scams can be highly sophisticated, very convincing and financially devastating. Nearly half of all investment scams reported in 2022 resulted in a financial loss, so it’s vital we do all that we can to stop them,” said Jason Gordon, head of fraud at Bendigo Bank.

Investment scams feature prominently in the cyber crime landscape because of the massive amounts of money involved. Cryptocurrency is used by scammers because it can quickly be sent overseas, is hard to trace, and is challenging to recover.

“Our risk-based approach will add some friction to certain genuine payments, however it's our responsibility to put measures in place that protect customers from bad actors,” Gordon said.

Other fraud and scam prevention measures Bendigo Bank has against cyber and financial crime, include:

  • multi-factor authentication
  • the removal of all links in SMS messages from the Bank
  • a dedicated security team constantly monitoring for suspicious activity
  • unusual account activity detection

Customers have a crucial role to play in combatting fraud, by remaining alert to suspicious messages and securing their personal information.

“While we take significant measures to protect accounts, together with our customers, we can even further reduce the incidents of scams and fraud,” he said.

“Please remember the bank will never ask for your details, or to transfer money, download software or login via a link sent through email or SMS. Bendigo Bank has removed links from all our SMS messages, so customers who receive an SMS that includes a link should treat that as suspicious.

“If you are speaking to someone claiming to be from Bendigo Bank and you are unsure if the caller is legitimate, hang up and contact us directly on 1300 236 344.”

To stop scammers in their tracks, Australians are encouraged to follow ScamWatch’s advice:

  • Stop – Don’t give money or personal information to anyone if unsure.

Scammers will offer help or ask to verify their target’s identity. They will pose as someone from a trusted organisation, such as Services Australia, police, government, or a fraud service.

  • Think – Ask yourself, “Could the message or call be fake?”

Never click a link in a message. To contact a business or government, use the contact information from their official website or through their secure apps. If unsure, say “no,” hang up, or delete.

  • Protect – Act quickly if something feels wrong.

To seek support or report unusual activity if you have been scammed, visit the Bendigo website.

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