Cryptocurrency scams reach $ 1 billion: check out the hardest hit

At least 46,000 people claimed to have lost a total of more than $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies to scammers since the start of 2021.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Although they have suffered declines recently, investors continue to bet on cryptocurrencies. In this way, scammers see this market as a chance to steal digital assets.

According to a report recently published by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), at least 46,000 people claimed to have lost a total of more than $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies to scammers since the start of 2021.

According to the FTC, this represents about one in four dollars lost, a greater loss than any other payment method. In 2021, recorded losses were almost 60 times greater than in 2018.

Bitcoin is the favorite of scammers

According to the FTC report, the top digital currencies targeted by criminals are Bitcoin (70%), Tether (10%) and Ether (9%).

As the FTC points out, because there is no bank or other centralized authority to point out suspicious transactions and thus try to prevent scams, digital assets become attractive to scammers.

“Crypto asset transfers cannot be reversed. And once the money is gone, there’s no getting it back. And most people are still not familiar with how cryptocurrencies work,” the report highlights.

Scams on social networks

Nearly half of people who lost cryptocurrencies in 2021 in a scam say it all started with an ad, post or message on social media.

The main platforms where this type of scam happens are:

  • Instagram (32%);
  • Facebook (26%);
  • WhatsApp (9%);
  • Telegram (7%).

Most common types of scams

The main type of scam reported is associated with false investment opportunities. “Investment scammers claim they can get huge returns quickly and easily for investors. But these crypto ‘investments’ go straight into a scammer’s wallet,” the report reads.

Another type of scam that is also common is related to “romance”. Corporate and government spoofing scams are also very frequent, they involve an allegedly unauthorized purchase or a pop-up made to look like a security alert.

Most affected ages

The report found that people aged between 20 and 49 were more than three times more likely to be scammed than older people.

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Image: Fill Bowonkitwanchai / Shutterstock.com

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