HomeBusiness$1 billion lost in cryptocurrency scams since 2021, FTC warns

$1 billion lost in cryptocurrency scams since 2021, FTC warns

The FTC sounded the alarm on Friday, saying crypto-related crimes accounted for about one in four dollars reported lost to fraud, more than any other payment method. The median loss reported by an individual was $2,600.

The large majority of those who said they were scammed used Bitcoin to pay the crooks, at 70%, followed by Tether and Ether. Victims tend to be in a younger age group – those aged 25-40 are three times more likely to lose money due to fraud.

Crypto scams are becoming more and more popular, reaching 60 times more than in 2018. It contains all the elements that give scammers an advantage — no bank to report suspicious transactions, irreversible transfers, and novice investors who are often unfamiliar with how crypto works.

The FTC warning comes at a volatile time in the crypto market. Since Bitcoin hit its peak of $69,000 in November, it has lost more than half of its value as investors retreated from riskier assets due to rising interest rates.

Nearly half of those who said they lost money to a crypto scam in 2021 said they were attracted by an online post or social media post. More than half of the posts were seen on Facebook or Instagram.

Fake investment opportunities were responsible for $575 million of all crypto losses reported to the FTC, far more than any other type of fraud.

“The stories people share about these scams paint a perfect storm: false promises of easy money coupled with people’s limited understanding and experience with crypto,” the FTC report said.

In February, A federal grand jury in San Diego has indicted the BitConnect founder for allegedly orchestrating a $2.4 billion global Ponzi scheme. The founder has been accused of misleading investors about the cryptocurrency ‘lending program’, claiming the company’s proprietary technology will bring substantial returns to investors by tracking crypto exchange markets -change.
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And in May, the CEO of Mining Capital Coin was indicted for “allegedly orchestrating a $62 million global investment fraud scheme” that promised large returns from mining new cryptocurrencies.

In both cases, the scammers promised substantial returns to their investors, but instead pocketed the money in their own crypto. wallets.

Last month, the SEC announced that it was hiring more than a dozen new employees to combat cryptocurrency fraud.

The FTC said there are steps you can take to avoid getting scammed. The first is to avoid anyone who promises guaranteed returns.

“No cryptocurrency investment is ever guaranteed to make money, let alone a lot of money,” the FTC said. A legitimate investment will also never require you to buy cryptocurrency, the FTC said.

Romance scams also play a role in this type of fraud – with the median individual reporting a crypto loss of $10,000. The FTC also warned against mixing online dating and investment advice.

“If a new love wants to show you how to invest in crypto, or asks you to send him crypto, it’s a scam,” the FTC said.

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