Westpac has begun testing new customer protections for certain cryptocurrency payments to reduce scam losses.

According to Westpac, investment scams account for account half of all scam losses and a third of all scam payments go directly to a cryptocurrency exchange.

A phased trial of the new protection blocks will be rolled out over the coming weeks.

Furthermore, these new measures follow other scam initiatives, including Westpac Verify. The service 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.

Other scam prevention measures include:

  • Dynamic CVC: Customers can access a digital card in the Westpac app to make purchases safely with a dynamic three-digit security code that changes daily;
  • Scam block: Real-time blocking of suspect online merchants;
  • Stopping spoofing calls: 94,000 numbers added to the “Do No Originate” list to prevent scammers;
  • Sophisticated detection technology, and
  • Dedicated financial crime hub: Recently opened in Parramatta Square, it has brought together 500 scam, fraud, and financial crime specialists together.

Scott Collary, Westpac group executive of customer services and technology, said: “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.

“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.”

Australian consumers and HNWIs could use help as we found out that many of the population are suffering a cost-of-living crisis.