According to recent research conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), crypto-fraudulent activities skyrocketed last year.
As per the research, the FBI revealed that Americans lost over $10 billion to online fraud last year, with $2.57 billion drained through cryptocurrency investment scams alone. The FBI reported that crypto investment scams had unprecedented increases in the number of victims and dollar losses in 2022, with the most targeted group being people aged 30 to 49 who are active in the cryptocurrency market.
This comes at a time when the cryptocurrency market was experiencing a bearish trend last year, which led to numerous crypto firms, such as FTX, where the CEO, Sam-Bankman Fried, used customer funds inappropriately.
The agency outlined several common ways in which crypto scammers attack victims, including celebrity impersonation, fraudulent liquidity mining applications, and pretending to be real estate professionals or investment advisors. Another type of crypto fraud that has become highly popular is romance scams, which have affected thousands of Americans and resulted in $185 million being siphoned from them.
Compared to the previous year, fraudulent activities saw an uptick last year, resulting in a higher amount being stolen by cybercriminals. In 2021, these criminals were able to steal $907 through their illicit activities.
A pensioner from the United Kingdom has recently been targeted by cybercriminals in a fraudulent scheme involving cryptocurrency. The elderly victim, who was smitten by a person posing as a US Army surgeon, transferred a whopping $207,000 to a bitcoin wallet under the pretense of love. Unfortunately, her affection was exploited, and she fell prey to the con artist’s deceitful tactics. Thankfully, the bank and local law enforcement were able to recover over half of the stolen funds, providing some much-needed relief for the unfortunate pensioner.