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Australian crypto exchange Swyftx, with support from blockchain intelligence provider TRM Labs, today launched a world-first trial that will pay crypto users to protect themselves against fraudsters through training and by enabling stronger security features to protect their accounts.
The program offers $10 worth of Bitcoin to Aussies who activate two factor authentication on their cryptocurrency accounts, amid a surge in reported scams in the country. TRM identified nearly $14 billion being sent to various types of fraud schemes across the world in 2022. In the same period, Aussies reported $221 million lost in cryptocurrency, which is an increase of 162.4% from the previous year.
TRM Labs is a blockchain intelligence firm that provides anti-fraud and financial crime software to public sector agencies such as law enforcement and regulatory bodies and private sector organisations including crypto exchanges and financial institutions.
The trial will test the impact on investment fraud levels of rewarding crypto customers for protecting their accounts and educating themselves about how to avoid scams. Swyftx chief operating officer Jason Titman said the exchange’s security controls had already stopped around $3 million of customer funds going to scammers in 2023.
“Swyftx will do whatever it takes to protect our customers and we are prepared to take the battle to scammers,” said Titman. “Security is today the number one concern of global crypto users and the industry needs to understand that trust is integral to future adoption of blockchain technology.”
“Almost always the wave starts a long way from shore with scams that involve crypto. Most fraud begins on social media platforms before it makes its way through the banking system and then to exchanges. We are the last line of defence and everyone has a part to play in creating a more secure environment.”
Swyftx are paying the reward to an initial 2,000 customers that enable two-factor authentication on their accounts and complete a course that has been co-created with TRM Labs. The course covers crypto-enabled investment scams and will be offered via the exchange’s Learn platform. Customers are also being encouraged to report suspected fraud that involves crypto on chainabuse.com, a free scam reporting website operated by TRM Labs.
Chainabuse empowers crypto users to report illicit activity to a public forum where others can upvote, downvote, or leave comments to contribute additional information. Reports on the same addresses or entities are consolidated and housed in a searchable database, which anyone can use to proactively check addresses before engaging with them. The tool enables crypto users and victims of financial crimes to take an active role in making the crypto ecosystem a safer place to operate.
TRM Chief Executive, Esteban Castaño, said: “Proactively spreading knowledge and awareness is key to combating scams. We are excited to support Swyftx’s innovative approach to enhancing crypto safety and security in Australia.”
Jonno Newman, an Australia-based investigator with TRM Labs who was previously head of the Cybercrime Training and Prevention Section at South Australia Police, said: “The prevalent scams we see are the work of complex, business-like organised crime syndicates, complete with persuasive sales scripts and targets. Recognising their sophistication underscores the need to band together, and work collaboratively to combat them.”
The trial is launched today to coincide with Scam Awareness Week (27th November to 1st December) and is part of a national campaign by Swyftx that is encouraging crypto users in the country to ‘Resist, Research, Report’.
“We’re asking Aussie crypto users to do three simple things,” said Titman. “Resist the urge to quickly send money to any crypto wallet that claims to be an investment opportunity. Do research on scams so you can spot the warning signs. And report suspected scams that involve crypto to Chainabuse so we can bring more scammers to justice.”
For more information or interview requests, please contact:
Swyftx Head of Communications, Tom Matthews, at: [email protected] or on +61 413938 247
TRM press team at: [email protected]
Swyftx is an AUSTRAC-registered Australian digital assets exchange, with around 700,000 customers across the ANZ region. It is Australia’s top-rated crypto exchange (source: Trustpilot).
About TRM Labs
TRM Labs provides blockchain intelligence to help financial institutions, cryptocurrency businesses and public agencies detect, investigate and mitigate crypto-related fraud and financial crime. TRM’s risk management platform includes solutions for cryptocurrency anti-money laundering (AML), transaction monitoring and wallet screening, investigative tracing and entity risk scoring including Know-Your-VASP.
These tools enable organizations around the world to safely embrace cryptocurrency-related transactions, products, and partnerships. TRM is based in San Francisco, CA and is hiring across engineering, product, sales, and data science. To learn more, visit www.trmlabs.com.