14 August, 2023

Proceeds from fraud and financial scams are being directed toward cryptocurrency, according to data from the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange (AFCX).

An analysis of data reported to the AFCX from members (which includes the major banks and other financial institutions) shows that 47% of scam funds were directed to accounts associated with cryptocurrency exchanges in the last 30 days of the financial year.

David Pegley, Managing Director of AFCX said the high levels of stolen funds flowing to cryptocurrency is hindering efforts to recover money.

“Once funds have been transferred to crypto, it is extremely difficult to recover them.”” Mr Pegley said.

Mr Pegley also said, “We prioritise preventing fraudulent transactions and the harm that scams have on Australians and our communities. It’s also important to remember that these funds are eventually channelled to organised crime organisations and facilitate their activities such as dealing in guns, drugs, and other crimes.”

The number and value of global financial scams have grown exponentially in recent years, and tracing and recovering the money has also become increasingly complex.

About the AFCX

The AFCX is the central coordinator of intelligence for the investigation and prevention of financial and cyber-crime. The Scams in Australia report is compiled from data provided by Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, ANZ, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Macquarie Bank, who share information on scams that have been identified as occurring to their customers.