12 stories this week:


Bank protections against cryptocurrency scams in Australia ‘ a very shaky area’ – 22 April 2021
Australians are losing tens of millions of dollars a year in crypto currency scams. A Sydney woman Sylvia Chau, who lost $2.6 million after investing via an unlicensed unregulated cryptocurrency broker in 2019, took her case to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority which found that, while the bank did make some procedural errors, ultimately the disputed transactions were authorised so the bank was not liable.


90-year-old woman loses $41 million to alleged phone scam con – 23 April 2021
A wealthy 90-year-old woman was conned out of $A41 million in the region’s biggest recorded phone scam. Criminals posed as Chinese authorities and told her that her identity was used in a serious criminal case in mainland China. She was then instructed to transfer her money to designated bank accounts to investigate whether the cash was the proceeds of crime.


Trader flees Turkey with $2b in crypto scam – 23 April 2021
One of Turkey’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges said it lacked the financial strength to continue operations, leaving hundreds of thousands of investors fearing their savings have evaporated as authorities sought to locate the company’s 27-year-old founder, who fled the country.


(Access to digital AFR required to read article.)

ASIC sees “significant number” of cryptocurrency scam concerns – 23 April 2021
ASIC is seeing an increasing number of complaints related to cryptocurrency scams, forcing it to deepen its understanding of blockchain technology. Industry support will also play a key part in how consumers are educated on potential scams that reach beyond ASIC. https://www.itnews.com.au/news/asic-sees-significant-number-of-cryptocurrency-scam-concerns-563711


Founder of Turkish cryptocurrency exchange Thodex flees with reported $US2 billion in investor assets – 24 April 2021
Turkish prosecutors have opened an investigation after the Istanbul-based founder of a cryptocurrency exchange shut down his site and fled the country with a reported $US2 billion ($2.6 billion) in investors’ assets.


IOOF promises ‘remedial action’ after ASIC investigation of Bridges, RI Advice – 26 April 2021
IOOF has committed to taking remedial action against its Bridges Financial Services and RI Advice licensees, after an investigation by the corporate regulator revealed “deficiencies” with the groups’ supervision processes and the quality of advice provided.


Mystery over 43 corruption allegations made by Sydney Water employees – 26 April 2021
Sydney Water has recently experienced 45 complaints and dozens of allegations of serious wrongdoing or corrupt conduct made by its employees. There are also a large increase in numbers of whistleblower complaints by employees of NSW Health and Fire and Rescue NSW.


62-year-old man charged over $845,000 ATO investigation – 28 April 2021
‘Phoenixing’ refers to the deliberate act of building up debts in a business and stealing profits, before winding up the company and starting up a new one under a different name. An investigation led by the Australian Taxation Office has resulted in a 62-year-old man being charged over illegal ‘phoenix’ activity that saw the Commonwealth lose $845,066.


Anatomy of a hedge fund hack – 28 April 2021
The complexity of scams, and the time and money fraudsters are prepared to invest, highlight a growing threat to smaller financial services firms.


(Access to digital version of AFR required.)

NAB controls ‘not adequate’ to prevent multimillion-dollar fraud – 29 April 2021
The bank detailed to a parliamentary committee how a top staff member (Rosemary Rogers) was able to get away with a multimillion-dollar fraud, conceding that its ordinary compliance controls did not at the time extend to the office of the chief executive.
NAB said following the detection of Ms Rogers’ fraud, it had undertaken an internal audit of third-party vendor selection and contract management in the CEO’s office and tightened due diligence on its supplier management processes.


Illegal football streaming sites are absolutely riddled with dangerous malware – 29 April 2021
According to a report from cybersecurity firm Webroot, almost all (92%) illegal football streaming websites contain some form of malicious content, from malware and phishing lures to social engineering scams


Prosecutors refuse to drop case against tax office whistleblower Richard Boyle – 29 April 2021
Director of public prosecutions was considering ending pursuit of ex-ATO employee who went public with concerns about debt recovery tactics. Prosecutors on Thursday indicated, however, that they would be proceeding with their case, which could bring a lengthy jail stint for Boyle.