Category Archives: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

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Australian Crypto Scams in 2018 Totaled $4.3 Million

Australian Crypto Scams Reported in 2018 Totaled .3 Million

Australia has become well known for its big push towards endorsing both blockchain and cryptocurrency use, but like anywhere the country is prone to scams as recent figures just released have revealed, with over USD 4 million dollars lost to cryptocurrency scams in 2018.

However, it appears that the AUD 6.1 million lost to cryptocurrency scams last year was just the tip of the scamming iceberg according to a recent survey by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Scams covering all sectors totaled 378,000 reported in 2018, costing victims a huge AUD 489 million (approx. USD 344 million).

The figure alarmed many of the government agencies responsible for taking in scam reports over the year due to an increase of 41.7% over the previous year 2017, although it is unlikely that the figures represent the actual extent to which Australian consumers have been duped. “These record losses are likely just the tip of the iceberg. We know that not everyone who suffers a loss to a scammer reports it to a government agency,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

In terms of cryptocurrency scams, there were 674 reported in 2018; a 190% increase compared to the AUD 2.1 million reported to Scamwatch in 2017. The most heavily used scams were those based on cryptocurrency investments which represented over double all cryptocurrency scams combined. However, the ACCC report indicated that the rising occurrence of scams concerning crypto had risen in tandem with the rising popularity of cryptocurrency in general since 2017.

In general, hacking scams featured high on the list of consumers losses with a 49% increase in reports, and shopping scams appeared to be becoming more popular with scammers, targeting consumers with shoes, Apple and Samsung phones, puppies, and cars as a means to duping them and relieving them of their money.


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Australian Cricket Ex-Captain Michael Clarke “Given Out” by Tweeters After ICO Endorsement

Former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke has put his name behind an ICO, causing a stir in the Twitter community.

Clarke has endorsed Brisbane-based crypto exchange Global Tech, who is looking to raise up to AUD 50 million (USD 36 million) in its upcoming ICO. Global Tech, which was founded a little over a year ago by Andrew Mclean and Marlon Donaire, describes itself as a platform which:

“…combines premium education, important industry updates and a social platform, which is sure to revolutionize the way we invest and live. Our mission is to develop, advance and modernize the industry, making it more accessible, transparent and forward-thinking.”

Exciting times ahead 👌🏻👍🏻

— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) August 8, 2018

Australian cricket is very much under the microscope at the moment, so it is unsurprising that the announcement that Clarke was involved with the ICO launched the usual negative Tweeting. The comments were spurred on by the recent ball-tampering scandal which involved yet another ex-captain of the national cricket team, Steve Smith, after sandpapering a ball in a test match in South Africa this year.

One such detractor was Bronte Capital founder John Hempton (also known to some for his appearance in an episode of the Netflix series Dirty Money). Hempton commented that Clarke was “squandering his reputation on an initial coin offering” adding:

“Whether Michael Clarke is breaking Australian law regarding advertising investments with this Tweet I will leave for ASIC and their lawyers to decide.”

ffs, ex Australian cricket captain in an ICO.

Suggest Mr Clarke you just buy sandpaper.

It will do less damage to your reputation…

— John_Hempton (@John_Hempton) August 8, 2018

The Global Tech founders admit that the sector does include scams and illegitimate companies but wants to address this issue with its own ICO arguing that there are still many “fantastic blockchain and cryptocurrency companies” in the industry. The company declares that:

“Andrew and Marlon propose to bring legitimacy back to the industry with a community and education-based trading and exchange platform. With their revolutionary vision and entrepreneurial ethos, they spent months tracking down the right people to create the perfect team, and make their vision a reality.”

Business crowdfunding has been an issue this year in Australia’s burgeoning crypto community. The corporate regulator, ASIC, has introduced measures to protect investors, along with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, sending some ICO plans back to the drawing board.


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