Amid reports that crypto scams are on the rise worldwide, New Zealand police have warned the public about online frauds after an investor was duped out of $213,000.
The unidentified victim made various investments in an online cryptocurrency that promised “extremely good returns”, a Canterbury police report reveals. They decided to stop pouring money into the scheme in light of no returns on their investment. However, the scammer contacted the investor directly, convincing them to put up more money through a fraudulent website.
Best to seek advice
“Members of the public should seek advice before making any online investments they are unsure of,” Senior Sergeant Paul Reeves warns. “Scammers are extremely persistent and can seem very credible, as they are highly versed in their trade.”
Early this year, Bitcoin.com released a report saying $9 million is lost to cryptocurrency scams every day. In Russia, a report by antivirus and cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Labs revealed cybercriminals stole over $2.3 million in the second quarter of 2018.
Crypto scams on the rise
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission also recently informed that cryptocurrency fraud was now the second most common investment scam in the country. However, it admitted that crypto-related scams, including fake initial coin offerings (ICOs) amounted to only a fraction of total losses to fraud, which clocked in at nearly $300 million over the past year.
The independent Federal Trade Commission of the United States says that this year crypto scams will total $3 billion. It states that during the first two months of this year, consumers were duped out of $542 million.