News and Analysis

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Australian Bitcoin Trader Takes Banks to Tribunal After Sudden Account Closures – 18 January 2021

A cryptocurrency trader in Australia is seeking $250,000 AUD in compensation from two banks claiming he was the victim of unlawful discrimination when his accounts were closed with little warning. Westpac reportedly told Flynn his account was closed because it was “under investigation for cryptocurrency fraud”.

DON’T CLICK: 18.7 million Aussies at risk of ‘sinister’ ATO scam – 16 January 2021

Scammers purporting to be from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) are trying to steal Aussies’ bank details once again. The firm intercepted an email that looks like it’s from the ATO, and advises taxpayers their tax refund is ready for collection – all they need to do is “click here”. That link takes them to a page that looks like the myGov login website. However, the domain doesn’t belong to myGov or the ATO, and is actually a phishing page.

Sham tax agent walks free, while ATO continues to chase clients – 16 January 2021

Richard Hogg, a disgraced tax agent sentenced to three years in prison for stealing more than $4 million, is due to be released from Fulham Correctional Centre, whilst his former clients continued to be chased by the ATO for unpaid taxes. The case has highlighted problems with the Proceeds of Crime Act, which empowers the Australian Federal Police to confiscate assets from offenders, but not compensate their victims.

Senior IOOF executive accused of inappropriate touching in unfair dismissal claim – 14 January 2021

A former IOOF executive has accused the wealth manager’s deputy chief investment officer and head of equities Stanley Yeo of sexual harassment, including inappropriate touching on her wedding day, in an unfair dismissal claim.

(Digitial access to SMH required to read article.)

German authorities accuse Australian man of running DarkMarket, the world’s largest illegal online marketplace – 13 January 2021

An Australian man is accused of operating the biggest illegal marketplace on the darknet. He has been arrested in Germany. All sorts of drugs, forged money, stolen or forged credit cards, anonymous mobile phone SIM cards and malware were among the things offered for sale and more than 140 million euros ($AUD220 million) of cryptocurrency was allegedly exchanged on the site.

Tasmanian woman stole over $65k from Bupa to fund ‘lavish lifestyle’, court told – 13 January 2021

Olivia Rose Rodgers, a makeup artist stole more than $65,000 from her former employer (Bupa Health Insurance) to fund her “lavish lifestyle”. She has pleaded guilty to multiple false insurance claims on behalf of family and friends, but she was the sole beneficiary of the money. Lawyer says Rodgers had ‘undiagnosed’ psychological condition.

Former Leighton executive charged in Sydney over global Unaoil bribery scandal – 12 January 2021

Former Leighton Holdings executive David Savage has been charged over his alleged role in the international Unaoil scandal, which involved bribery of senior officials in oil-producing nations to secure lucrative contracts. The investigation has discovered approximately $US77.6 million in suspicious payments channelled through Monaco-based consultancy Unaoil and other third parties.

Bitcoin exchange owner who helped scam eBay buyers sentenced to 10 years in prison – 11 January 2021

Rossen G. lossifov laundered nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency for several scammers in less than three years. The scammers posed as military, looking to sell their cars on Craigslist and eBay before deployment. They made their profiles look legitimate by stealing images and names from real people in order to convince buyers to pay them first before delivery.

Chatbox scam impersonating Woolworths tricks shoppers into disclosing bank details – 11 January 2021

Consumers are being warned to keep an eye out for a new chatbot scam impersonating Australian supermarket giant Woolworths. The scam acts as an online chat assistant, tricking shoppers into believing they have won a prize such as a Woolworths store credit or gift card.

Aus¬tralian agency reviewing data on Vatican money transfers – 8 January 2021

The Australian government’s financial intelligence agency said it is reviewing its data, after questions were raised about its report that $1.8 billion was transferred from the Vatican to Australia over six years. Australia’s bishops have also expressed puzzlement and were seeking clarity.

Australian former executive returns from French ‘castle’ to quarantine and a criminal investigation – 4 January 2021

David Savage had made his career and fortune with Leighton (now named CIMIC), becoming one of the firm’s most influential executives. Police suggest that Mr Savage helped conceal and alter company documents, that threatened to reveal Leighton’s corruption in dealings, to secure a nation-building infrastructure project in Iraq.

Coronavirus-related scams are on the rise, with the ACCC warning some scammers are pretending to be contact tracers – 31 December 2020

Contact tracers rely on QR code scan-in technology to locate and isolate potential contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Cybersecurity expert Kate Carruthers, says when it comes to commercial or privately owned QR applications, there is little regulation to prevent data from falling into the wrong hands.