Cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia are ramping up their efforts to prevent scams by focusing on effective communication with their users. During a panel discussion at the Intersekt 2023 fintech conference in Melbourne, executives from major crypto firms including Cointree, CoinSpot, and Swyftx highlighted the importance of communication as a key preventative measure against scams.
The executives outlined various protective measures implemented by their platforms, such as automated and manual Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks, investigations, education, and most importantly, communication. According to Jedda Stocks-Ramsay, AML officer at CoinSpot, the firm has found that “just talking” to customers has proven to be highly effective in breaking the trust scammers build with their victims.
CoinSpot emphasizes the importance of helping customers understand this element of trust manipulation. Scammers often spend significant amounts of time on the phone with victims, establishing rapport and gaining their trust. By simply reaching out to customers via email or phone, exchanges like CoinSpot can disrupt this process and help users avoid falling victim to scams.
Education also plays a crucial role in protecting cryptocurrency users, according to Jason Titman, an executive at Swyftx. He suggested that a lack of awareness and knowledge makes individual consumers more susceptible to being tricked into revealing sensitive information or passwords to scammers. Educating customers about the risks associated with scams is crucial, particularly within the context of the rapidly growing and evolving cryptocurrency industry.
The panelists also emphasized the need to educate users beyond the realm of cryptocurrencies. Stocks-Ramsay noted that cryptocurrency scams are just one aspect of the larger scams ecosystem, involving other industries like social media, banks, and telecoms. By raising awareness about scams in general, it becomes easier for individuals to identify and avoid potential threats.
The executives also expressed their frustration with the misconception that cryptocurrency scams are solely the fault of the crypto industry. Jess Renden, CEO of Cointree, highlighted the efforts made by the industry to protect customers and stressed the importance of collaboration with regulators, telcos, and social media platforms. Renden argued that blaming the crypto industry is unfair, as it is actively working towards prevention and protection.
This increased focus on scam prevention comes in response to the growing concern over cryptocurrency-related scams in Australia. Major banks in the country recently argued that 40% of scams involve cryptocurrency, leading them to impose restrictions on crypto transactions. Data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission shows that Australians lost approximately $150 million in cryptocurrency-related scams in 2022, a significant increase of over 160% from the previous year.
In conclusion, cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia are prioritizing communication and education to combat scams within the industry. By engaging with their users, providing information about scams, and collaborating with various stakeholders, these exchanges aim to protect their customers from falling victim to fraudulent activities. The efforts of these exchanges are essential in building trust and ensuring the continued growth and security of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.