- Investors in the UK have lost over $200 million in cryptocurrency scams since this year.
- About 558 of the fraud reports were related to fake celebrity endorsements.
Cybercriminals are still capitalizing on the growing attention and popularity of digital currency to siphon money from unsuspecting investors. Recently, the fraud and cyber reporting center of the United Kingdom (UK), Action Fraud, disclosed that the residents have lost over $200 million (or £146,222,332) in cryptocurrency scams since the beginning of the year.
Cryptocurrency scams up 30% in UK
The losses so far already represent a 30 percent increase from the record last year. The Action Fraud said investors have filed 7,118 reports of cryptocurrency scams since January, most of which were from people below the age of 50 years, losing over $28,000 (£20,500) on average. The majority of the victims (52%) were aged between 18 and 45.
“Reports of cryptocurrency fraud have increased significantly over the past few years, which is unsurprising given everyone is spending more time online,” said Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish from the City of London Police. “Being online more means criminals have a greater opportunity to approach unsuspecting victims with fraudulent investment opportunities.”
Fake celebrity endorsements
The Action Fraud noted that some of the cryptocurrency scam reports they received were connected to fake celebrity endorsements. We have reported several cases where cybercriminals impersonate well-known figures or use fake testimonies to deceive people into investing in their projects.
Between April 2020 and March 2021, about 558 UK investors filed fraud reports involving “bogus celebrity endorsements,” and 79% of all the inventors who fell for these scams said it was crypto-related.