More than £2 million was lost to cryptocurrency fraud in the UK during June and July, new research shows.
The data from Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and cybercrime reporting centre, reveals victims reported losing £2,059,501 to cryptocurrency scams between 1st June and 31st July – an average of £10,096 per person. In total, 203 reports of fraud involving cryptocurrency were reported.
Action Fraud says fraudsters are cold calling victims and using social media platforms to advertise “get rich quick” investments in mining and trading cryptocurrencies.
Fraudsters convince victims to sign up to investment websites and to part with their personal details such as credit card details and driving licences to open a trading account. The victim will then make an initial minimum deposit, after which the fraudster will call them to persuade them to invest again in order to achieve a greater profit.
In some cases, victims have realised that they have been defrauded, but only after the website has been deactivated and the suspects can no longer be contacted.
Pauline Smith, Director of Action Fraud, says potential cryptocurrency investors should thoroughly research the company they are choosing to invest with. “The statistics show that opportunistic fraudsters are taking advantage of this market, offering investments in cryptocurrencies and using every trick in the book to defraud unsuspecting victims,” she warns.
In response to the rise in fraud, the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Academy recently launched a course on cryptocurrencies which is designed to give officers the skills and knowledge to recognise and manage crypto in their investigations.
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