NatWest is imposing cryptocurrency payment limits amid concerns over rising numbers of scams.
The cost-of-living crisis is also having an impact, with promises of high returns used by criminals to entice investors, the bank said.
To prevent users from suffering irreparable financial loss, a daily restriction of £1,000 and a 30-day cap of £5,000 have been imposed.
According to NatWest, users may purchase, sell, or swap cryptocurrencies for other digital currencies or traditional currencies using reputable exchange platforms.
To get investors to transfer money to exchanges—which are sometimes set up in the customer’s name by the criminal or by the victim, under duress from the criminal—criminals play on investors’ ignorance of how cryptocurrency markets function and their volatility.
The amount of fraud involving cryptocurrency exchanges has increased, according to Stuart Skinner, head of fraud protection at NatWest, and we are taking action to protect our consumers.
To assist you to avoid falling prey to a cryptocurrency scam, NatWest provides the following advice:
1. Never share the password of your crypto wallet with anyone, even if your cryptocurrency contact/investor says they need it to deposit money into your wallet.
2. Read all the information slowly. Do not be rushed into investing due to the volatility of the market. This is an opportunity to look out for typos and grammatical mistakes on a fake website.
3. Beware of giveaways. Crypto-criminals use fake messages from well-known companies and celebrities to promote giveaways to fake accounts. They will often have fake positive responses within the advertisement which make it seem more legitimate.
The statement from NatWest came the same day as Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange declared it will no longer accept deposits and withdrawals in pounds sterling.
With more than 128 million users, Binance could not provide information on the precise number of users the change will affect.
According to a spokeswoman for Binance, the business is looking for an “alternative option” for sterling transactions.
In June 2021, the FCA issued a warning to customers stating that Binance lacked “any type” of authorization to provide services that were regulated in the UK.