Australia saw 674 cases of cryptocurrency scams being reported to authorities in 2018, with the amount of losses hitting 6.1 million Australian Dollars.
According to a report by the Australian Competitions & Consumer Commission (ACCC), there has been a 190 percent rise in cryptocurrency-related crimes, with just 2.1 million Australian Dollars being lost to scams in 2017.
Numerous scams have been brought to light by Coin Rivet over the past few months, with a fake Coinbase email doing the rounds in January while digital asset exchange MapleChange pulled an exit scam in October.
The report states: “Victims reported being tricked by online scammers into purchasing various cryptocurrencies through the scammer’s software platform, but, as with other investment scams, when they tried to cash out, the scammers either made excuses or were no longer contactable”.
One victim lost $50,000 by putting funds into a binary options trading platform. It all seemed to be going well for the victim until he tried to withdraw funds.
“When I wanted to withdraw my money I was told I would need to pay taxes on my profits before I could access it. I was never warned about this but they insisted I needed to pay taxes before I could get my money back.” The victim is quoted in the report as saying: “After I asked for my money, my trades started to fail and my accumulated profits were starting to decrease. They pressured me to invest more so that I could reverse the situation by increasing my ‘trades volume’. They said I would lose everything unless I invested more as an emergency”.
They added: “I feel very embarrassed by this scam, they were very convincing and professional.”
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