The general public is getting more educated in cryptocurrency related matters but the crypto scams are still very successful. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report, the number of crypto scam victims and the money lost has increased in 2018. During the year Australians lost around $4.3 million (AUD 6.1 million) in crypto related scams.
There have been cases of scammers demanding digital assets from their victims in Australia, however, the increase in cases is concerning. According to the financial watchdog of the Australian market, the residents of the country had lost only $1.4 million (AUD 2.1 million) in 2017. Compared to this, the money lost to the crypto scams has increased by 190 per cent.
The annual report of “Targeting Scams” has announced further details related to the crypto scams. According to the report, there have been 674 crypto-related scam cases registered with the governmental agencies, including ACCC. Most of these scams involved online fraudsters tricking victims to purchase cryptocurrencies through various compromised platforms. ACCC noted that almost half of the money ($ 1.8 million) was lost through payments in cryptocurrencies. The fraudsters were requesting their victims to make crypto payments for different investment opportunities, for example, Forex trading or commodity trading.
Targeting millennials for crypto frauds
In total, Australian citizens have lost $13.4 million in financial scams, including crypto related ones. As the report showed, half of the victims who have fallen for the crypto scams are millennials, mostly men from the age group between 25 to 35. While such scams had a big share in the total loss, fraudsters also used more traditional payment methods to scam people.
The majority of the money was lost due to the scammers using remittance services such as Western Union. They have also used payouts using gift cards in order to avoid the banks’ payment tracking capabilities.
Just last month, the financial intelligence agency of Australia, AUSTRAC, has shut two crypto exchanges that were operating in the country due to their links to organized cryptocurrency crimes. Crypto related scams are not the problem only for Australia. The cases of crypto Ponzi schemes has increased significantly around the globe and the authorities all over the world are trying to fight against it.