Users Lured Into Paying Non-Existent Debt Through Bitcoin ATMs

Scammers have figured out how to con $50,000 from Australian residents, tricking them in to pay off a non-existent debt in a classic fraud. Around four casualties from eastern Melbourne have fallen for the trap, according to news media reports.

Purportedly, the scammers would call the people and persuade them that they have an outstanding tax debt and that, if they don’t pay it through a Bitcoin ATM in Braybrook, they will be imprisoned. The victims would then withdraw their savings from their banks, travel to Brabryook’s Bitcoin ATM and pay off the fake debt to a predefined Bitcoin account.

As indicated by the police, this sort of plan targets helpless individuals who are effortlessly persuaded that their immigration status is undermined.

Acting Detective Sergeant Katherine Lehpamer stated that

“We trust that there are various victims out there who have not revealed the issue for some reason, they might be here on visas or they don’t know that authorities would never tell them to store cash into an ATM.”

Authorities have more than once asked people to be particularly careful while getting telephone calls from institutions and to double-check with the relevant organizations the value of the claims. Sergeant Lehpamer notes on the issue:

Anybody getting a call along these should make enquiries with the relevant authority before paying any cash or giving any bank account or personal details over the phone.

What is shocking, though, is that Australia doesn’t even accept tax payments made in cryptocurrencies. While there are sure ventures which allow residents to pay their bills with handling the bills, they basically act as delegates handling the bills for the benefit of the user accepting the same amount in cryptocurrencies.


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Author: Knightrider
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Paying Bills With Crypto in Australia

Although accepting cryptocurrency may be the furthest thing from various service providers’ minds, two fintech startups in Australia have decided to let crypto holders pay their bills with cryptocurrency. Regardless of whether the business accepts crypto or not, Cointree and Gobbill are there to act as intermediaries and give adoption a much-needed boost.
LIONBIT
Cointree is a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2013 in Melbourne that now has 56,000+ members and over AUD 100 million worth of lifelong successful transactions, according to their website. Gobbill, founded in 2015 and launched last year, is a digital finance assistant that automates bill payments using artificial intelligence for small businesses and households.

The partnership of the two businesses means that Gobbill acts as a go-between, taking the funds from its users and paying the bills on their behalf. Cointree also had its own service that lets users pay bills. However, Cointree operations manager Jessica Rendon told the Australian Financial Review (AFR) that she hoped this partnership would make it an easier process and open it up to more people who had not dealt with cryptocurrencies before.

TIP

Both of the startups are licensed: Gobbill has an Australian financial services licence under ASIC, while Cointree is licensed under AUSTRAC to meet anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing obligations.
Gobbill co-founder Shendon Ewans thinks crypto is here to stay. “Fast forward into the future and what we’re seeing is, like it or not, this will be part of our daily lives,” he was quoted as saying by the AFR.

Crypto adoption in Australia is already well on its way. Since March 1st this year, Aussies are able to buy their bitcoin and ethereum for fiat in more than 1,200 newsstands all across the country. The state of Queensland is also investing in TravelbyBit, a business that sells travel experiences for cryptocurrency.


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Author: Sead Fadilpašić
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Victoria announces AU$2m robotic surgery training centre

The Australian Medical Robotics Academy in Melbourne will train surgeons on the use of revolutionary medical robots for minimally invasive surgery, partly through virtual reality surgical simulators.

The Victorian government has allocated AU$2 million in funding for a new training centre to help prepare surgeons for the use of robotics in cancer surgery.

LIONBIT

The Australian Medical Robotics Academy, to be located in the Parkville medical precinct in Melbourne, will train specialists from both Australia and abroad on the use of medical robots for minimally invasive surgery for cancer treatment, the state government said.

The academy will also feature virtual reality (VR) surgical simulators that will provide feedback for surgeons to “build their skills” before live surgery, it added.

“This cutting-edge facility will usher in a new age of surgery that will change the lives of patients from right around the world,” said Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.

“We’re putting Victoria at the forefront of the highest standards of surgical training. The world’s brightest medical minds will travel here from all over the world to learn new skills.”

The government said robotic surgery is capable of greater precision and accuracy, reduces risks of infection, and means shorter hospital stays and faster recoveries for patients.

TIP

In July, researchers at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and Menzies Health Institute found that robot-assisted surgery is no more risky than standard, open prostatectomies, after following surgical outcomes for roughly 300 Australian men over a two-year period.

Men who underwent a robotic prostatectomy had a lower rise in the blood level of prostate-specific antigens after two years, although it was unknown why.

The global surgical robotics market is booming, set to reach $12.6 billion by 2025, according a recent Research and Markets report.

VR, meanwhile, is increasingly being used in healthcare; Australian health insurer Medibank launched its own VR experiences for long-stay hospital patients on Google Daydream, while Build VR rolled out its VR unit to Australian care homes for dementia patients.

New York startup Virtual Rehab began using VR to develop rehabilitation programs for prisoners to prepare them for release by testing their reactions to real-world conflict scenarios and providing them with practical job training.

Samsung is also involved in the VR for healthcare space, having partnered with St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney for pain management using VR. The company has also used its VR solutions for mental health diagnosis, therapy for cancer patients, and as a magnification tool for the vision-impaired.

Earlier this week, DeepMind announced that it used AI to spot signs of eye disease as effectively as world-leading expert doctors.

The British company’s AI program “trained” with diagnostic data from almost 15,000 patients by combining two neural networks — one to provide a map of the eye tissue and the features of the disease, and the other to provide clinicians with a diagnosis and referral.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Jonathan Chadwick
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Former Australian Cricket Captain Is Backing An ICO

Michael Clarke, a known and important former cricket captain, is now involved in controversy after backing an Australian Initial Coin Offering (ICO). This decision of backing this ICO has gathered a lot of attention and generated controversy among investors, according to Business Insider.

LIONBIT

This is not the first time that a celebrity endorses an Initial Coin Offering. Back in 2017, when ICOs expanded in the market, celebrities such as Floyd Mayweather or DJ Khaled were backing different projects around the world.

In the same way, Clarke supported Global Tech by tweeting about it, but the reception in the famous social media was not good enough. Indeed, John Hempton, founder and chief investment officer at Bronte Capital, linked the endorsement to Steve Smiths ball-tampering situation, that ended his captaincy in 2018.

After it, Hempton published a blog post (which has been now deleted) related to the situation about Bronte Capitals website. The post says that after promoting the ICO, his reputation was seriously damaged. Moreover, they pushed him to reconsider his decision of endorsing Global Tech.

After these comments, Clarke blocked him on Twitter and Hempton wrote back saying:

Hey, I got blocked by an ex Australian cricket captain for suggesting an ICO might be bad for his reputation.

Regulators from different countries noticed an increase number of endorsements from celebrities and other social media influencers. At the moment, it is not clear whether the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre took action on what Clarke did.

TIP

In the past, one important regulatory agency, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a warning in which they explain the risks of investing in celebrity-backed Initial Coin Offerings.

Investment decisions should not be based solely on an endorsement by a promoter or other individual. Celebrities who endorse an investment often do not have sufficient expertise to ensure that the investment is appropriate and in compliance with federal securities laws. COnduct research before making investments, including in ICOs.

In some cases, if the project is a fraud or Ponzi scheme, the celebrity backing the ICO could even face jail sentences or pay an expensive fine.


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Queensland to Become a Hotspot for Crypto Spenders

Enjoying the beautiful coastal state of Queensland in Australia just got easier for cryptocurrency holders. More and more merchants in the area are accepting virtual currencies as payment and in doing so, are assisting the state in growing its tourism sector.

LIONBITWhether you’re getting geared up for the Great Barrier Reef or hoping to veg out on Vegemite, Australia is the country for you. Along with all of the beautiful views and unforgettable scenery, the land down under is hoping to add another attraction – cryptocurrency acceptance.

According to Finder, one of the country’s most popular states, Queensland, is ready to turn interest and intrigue into adoption with the help of TravelbyBit. The platform, which has the support of the Queensland government, makes it possible for merchants to accept cryptocurrency as payment. In addition to Bitcoin, customers can currently pay for their goods in Litecoin, Dash, Ether, and XEM.

NOT JUST LIMITED TO QUEENSLAND

Retailers in the state are not the only ones who benefit. Travelers coming into Australia, or locals who want to explore the world, can make use of the platform’s services to assist in booking their dream holiday.

TravelbyBit made headlines earlier this year when they collaborated with Brisbane Airport to allow a number of stores and restaurants in the terminal to accept virtual currency payments.

FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES

With a cash injection of just over $75,000 from the state’s government, TravelbyBit hopes to extend their reach to many other merchants within Queensland with an initial focus on the city of Bundaberg. Known for its Bundaberg Rum, as well as its Bundaberg Distillery, holders will be able to pay for their brew in cryptocurrency.

TIPIn showing its support, the state’s Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games, Kate Jones, said:

TravelbyBit has devised a clever way to make it easier for visitors to our state to pay for their purchases with a growing number of local businesses accepting cryptocurrency payments. I understand TravelbyBit is specifically targeting places like Bundaberg – using cryptocurrency to make it easier for tourists to book holidays.

The funding is part of the state’s Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas initiative which aims to promote tourism and job creation in the state by providing financial support to entrepreneurs and start-ups.

INCREASED TOURISM AND JOBS

This ability to create an easier travel experience for people is a highly important selling point. By using virtual currency, travellers won’t have to worry about exchange rates or finding innovative ways to conceal their local fiat currency. Travelers will also be able to explore unencumbered by dubiously fashionable fanny packs stuffed with Australian dollars.

TravelbyBit’s founder and CEO, Caleb Yeoh, discussed what the government’s funding would assist with:

“With this next phase of technology, we are targeting a different brand of tourist – the tech-savvy traveller from anywhere in the world who are looking to book their travel experiences ahead of their trip and use digital currency to pay for their travels. They can now pay with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, XEM and soon, BNB”.

Yeoh went on to add:

“We have more than 150 merchants across Australia using our system and this funding, [which will help] to develop a purpose-built platform that will accept digital currencies from anywhere in the world, will allow us to add jobs not only directly to our team but also across the broader tourism industry”.

This is, of course, not Australia’s first foray into this revolutionary industry. The country has recently partnered with tech giant, IBM, the latter of which will provide a range of services, some of which rely on blockchain technology.


WMPROHere at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Australia Set To Get Its First Cryptocurrency Vault Through Partnership

Cryptocurrency investors in Australia might just have a reason to breathe a sigh of relief, as the country will soon get its first crypto vault. This is coming to be as two Australian firms Decentralized Capital, and Custodian Vaults announced a partnership to offer insured cryptocurrency service to the Australian market.



This project is happening at a very strategic time, when investors and customers alike are skeptical about the future of cryptocurrencies, due to incessant attacks. The vault will assure the customers of the security and availability of cryptocurrencies.

A Renewed Hope

Stephen Moss led partnership has initiated this to capitalize on the growing interest in digital currencies and new age vaults, reflecting its view that Bitcoin is not a bubble that may blow up anytime soon.

The blockchain asset and investment firm have teamed up with a deposit box group, Custodian Vaults to start up what they claim to be Australia’s first insured cryptocurrency vault. Custodian is part of the precious metal firm, Pallion Group.

“This is a solution for the first phase of the industry, and it gives real security.” Mr. Moss said in an interview. “In my opinion bitcoin will not be remembered as the bubble, but the pin. While the short-term future of bitcoin may be debatable, the blockchain and its benefits are not,” he concluded.

Security has proven to be a big issue for the industry, as digital currencies are prone to be hacked by cyberpunks. A standard way of storing cryptocurrency is an offline external hardware device similar to a USB. These devices can, however, be stolen or targeted when plugged into a computer.

The companies reiterated that customers could have direct access to their cryptos, through physical surveillance, biometric identification, pin codes, CCTV monitoring, alarm and fire control system.

The partnership will target wealthy investors, exchanges and initial coin offering issuers and also have a private Wi-Fi room to allow cryptocurrencies transfers in and out. Though the companies assured customers that digital currencies are insured, no word was spoken about the insurer.

The need to get a digital currency vault became an Imperative, due to the constant attacks by cybercriminals, who focus on cryptocurrencies and reducing the confidence of investors in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in general, and this development will give customers hope that their money is safe.

Although Australian regulators are taking a cautious approach towards digital currencies, trading and initial coin offerings, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission this year received delegated powers to allow it take action against misleading or deceptive conduct in the marketing or issuing of ICOs.

With the new trend of global security, blockchain start-up firm, Xapo has underground vaults in five continents, with billions worth of virtual currencies in safe, other players are also providing a similar offer, like Guardian vault.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Australia: Experts Say Tax Office on ‘Warpath’ Against Crypto Investors

Australian tax experts have confirmed that the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is cracking down on cryptocurrency investors this year, local news outlet The New Daily reports Friday, June 15.


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The ATO had said in early March that they would be using a combination of data matching and “100-point identification checks” to find crypto investors this tax season, as well as utilizing bilateral tax treaties and AML agreements to identify even more investors from the traditionally anonymous crypto sphere.

According to Liz Russell, a senior tax agent at Etax.com.eu, the ATO is on the “warpath” to make sure all crypto investors pay the correct amount owed in taxes, and will be “doubling down with its data-matching technology to ensure that Australians are paying any taxes owed through cryptocurrency trading.”

Since the ATO treats cryptocurrencies as assets — having ended its system of double taxation for crypto last year — gains made by selling cryptocurrencies in Australia are subject to capital gains tax provisions.

All tax returns in Australia cover the financial year from July 1 to June 30 and are due on Oct. 31 if individuals do their own taxes, the ATO website notes.

As Bitcoin (BTC) has jumped to $20,000 in December of last year, since then falling to around $6,554 by press time, crypto investors have had opportunities to both gain and lose money by crypto sales. Russell notes that this means that a loss from a crypto sale should be deducted from any gains made in the sale of other assets including crypto, shares, or investment properties.

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The exception to the rule is if a crypto investor uses cryptocurrency to pay for items for personal use, like in what is soon to be the world’s first cryptocurrency airport in Brisbane.

News.com.au quotes Mark Chapman, director of tax communications H&R Block Australia, confirmed the crypto tax crackdown:

“The ATO is really looking at that [cryptocurrencies] as a big risk area, because it’s new and people don’t understand the tax implications.”

In mid-March, the ATO issued a warning about a new type of scam involving people pretending to work for the ATO in order to collect fraudulent tax payments through crypto for their personal gain. At the end of March, the ATO had also reached out to the public for advice on tax obligations for cryptocurrencies, citing the growing public interest as prompting the query.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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ACCC: Australians Lost Over AU$2.1m to Cryptocurrency-Related Scams in 2017

A report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has found many Australians fell victim to cryptocurrency scams last year, with approximately AU$2.1 million in losses accrued by those chasing the digital currency dream, or paying a virtual ransom.

In Targeting scams: Report of the ACCC on scams activity 2017 [PDF], the watchdog said the impact on Australians where cryptocurrencies were concerned grew in parallel to the “value” and popularity of the likes of bitcoin in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“Scammers adapt each year and find ways to exploit popular trends, new platforms, new ways of communicating, fad products, changes to legislation, or new investment opportunities,” the ACCC wrote.

Between January and September 2017, about AU$100,000 was reported lost per month to scams which had a cryptocurrency angle. However, in the month of December 2017, reported losses to Scamwatch — the ACCC-run scam notice website — exceeded AU$700,000.

The average reported loss had also jumped from AU$1,885 in January to AU$13,205 in December, the ACCC reported.

“As the value of actual cryptocurrencies increased, so too did the scam losses in what people thought were real investments,” the report continued. “By the end of the year, reports of losses related to cryptocurrencies exceeded AU$2.1 million but as with other scams, this is likely the very tip of the iceberg.”

According to the ACCC, examples of cryptocurrency scams in 2017 included fake initial coin offerings (ICOs), which purport to be the launch of a new cryptocurrency.

Other scams, the ACCC said, capitalised on the general confusion about how cryptocurrency works and instead of people discovering how to directly buy cryptocurrencies, many found themselves caught up in what were essentially pyramid schemes.

“A number of reports showed that victims entered into cryptocurrency-based scams through friends and family who convinced them they were onto a good thing, a classic element of pyramid schemes,” the watchdog wrote.

“Not all cryptocurrency-related scams involved victims attempting to invest in stocks or initial coin offerings. Many scammers also ask for payment through cryptocurrencies for a variety of scams because it is easier to remain anonymous while receiving payment.”

 

 

An example is paying ransomware through bitcoin.

In total, the ACCC reported Australians lost AU$340 million to scammers in 2017, the highest loss since stats were recorded.

More than 200,000 scam reports were submitted to the ACCC, the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), and other federal and state-based government agencies in 2017.

Investment scams topped the losses at AU$64 million; while dating and romance scams caused the second greatest losses at AU$42 million.

“Some scams are becoming very sophisticated and hard to spot. Scammers use modern technology like social media to contact and deceive their victims. In the past few years, reports indicate scammers are using aggressive techniques both over the phone and online,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

According to the ACCC, Scamwatch received almost 33,000 reports of threat-based impersonation scams in 2017. It said over AU$4.7 million was reported lost and more than 2,800 people gave their personal information to these scammers.

“The ATO will never threaten you with immediate arrest; Telstra will never need to access your computer to ‘fix’ a problem; and Centrelink will never require a fee to pay money it owes you,” Rickard continued. “Finally, none of these organisations will ask you to pay using iTunes gift cards.”


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Author: Asha McLean
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