action fraud crypto.jpg

Cryptocurrency fraud leads to millions in losses so far this year

Action Fraud is warning the public to remain vigilant when making investments, as criminals cheat hundreds of millions of pounds out of victims through cryptocurrency fraud.

Data from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, reveals a staggering £146,222,332 has been lost to cryptocurrency fraud since the start of this year – which is almost a third more (30 per cent) than  was lost throughout the whole of 2020.

Fraudulent

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish, from the City of London Police explained that reports of cryptocurrency fraud have increased significantly over the past few years, which is unsurprising given everyone is spending more time online. Being online more means criminals have a greater opportunity to approach unsuspecting victims with fraudulent investment opportunities.

“We would encourage anyone thinking about making an investment to do their research first and to stop and think before making an investment as it could protect you and your money.”

Reports

Since the start of this year, Action Fraud has received 7,118 reports of cryptocurrency fraud, with an average loss per victim of just over £20,500.

Criminals advertise schemes promising, in some cases, high returns through cryptocurrency investing or mining. Frequently advertised on social media, criminals try to lure you in with adverts offering easy money quickly in order to obtain your money or personal information.

One common tactic used to defraud victims is the use of celebrity endorsements. Criminals will present professional and credible looking online adverts, send emails and create websites to advertise fake investment opportunities, including cryptocurrency.