The UK's NatWest bank has imposed daily, and monthly limits on crypto transactions after consumers lost "life-changing sums" totaling £329M to crypto scammers in 2022.
According to a March 14th statement by NatWest, it has imposed a transaction limit on all crypto-related transactions. The bank stated the move is set to protect its customers from crypto scammers.
The bank noted that in 2022, UK citizens lost £329M to crypto scammers, or close to $400 million. It pointed out that some of those targeted by scammers lost "life-changing sums of money."
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According to the bank, men over 35 were most at risk, probably driven by the nation's cost of living crisis. On crypto transactions, all NatWest customers will now have a daily limit of £1000 ($1206) and a 30-day limit of £5000 ($6,032).
The bank noted that scammers even used genuine crypto exchanges to lure their customers. It stated that criminals preyed on victims' lack of knowledge of crypto. They would encourage their victims to move funds to crypto exchanges, where they would set up accounts in the victim's name.
The bank's head of Fraud protection, Stuart Skinner, emphasized the importance of crypto self-custody. He said:
You should always have sole control of your cryptocurrency wallet and nobody else should have access. If you didn't set the wallet up yourself or can't access the money then this is likely to be a scam.
NatWest stated that crypto was not protected under the UK's Financial Services Compensation Scheme. It also noted that the Financial Conduct Authority did not regulate most crypto coins.
It concluded its statement by providing customers with tips on protecting themselves from scammers, including never sharing the password to a crypto wallet with anyone.