Australia’s National Consumer watchdog has cautioned that crypto trading scams have significantly increased over a year and they are currently the second most widespread sort of investment scam in Australia.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), an independent government authority responsible for enforcing and imposing all consumer protection laws with supervision into scam-related events in the country, has a scam-alert domain named ' Scamwatch.'
In Monday's warning about the continuing alert radar, the watchdog cautioned the public about the rising dominance of crypto trading and the binary options scams. Specifically, Crypto trading scams have registered a high growth in the past one year making them the second most widespread type of investment scam offer shoved on victims, according to the ACCC.
Delia Rickard, the ACCC deputy chair, said in a statement:
“The rise in popularity in cryptocurrency trading has not been missed by scammers who are latching onto this new trend to con people. These are similar to any other investment scam: the scammer will claim to have inside knowledge about price movements they will use to make you a fortune. If you invest, your money will quickly disappear.”
In November last year, the ACCC indicated a 126 percent spike in crypto-related scams especially Bitcoin coinciding with the cryptocurrency market toward the end of 2017.
Warning all investors to be more careful of phoney schemes, Delia urged the public to sidestep and completely avoid all claims such as 'get-rich-quick', 'low risk', 'risk-free investment' or 'high return'.
The Australian watchdog meanwhile assured that schemes conveying to provide investments in traditional investment markets such as real estate, commodities, or stocks, continue to show very large investment scams in the country.
Furthermore, the ACCC earlier this year said that it had registered a total of 1,289 complaints from different sources all of which were related to crypto scams from the nation in 2017 and very huge losses from the majority of complaints at just over AUD$1.2 million.
In its yearly scam report issued in May, the ACCC indicated an overall total of 200,000 scam reports that were officially submitted to the authority with total losses of AUD$340 million, cryptocurrency-related scams plus fake ICOs summed to a fraction of the total losses at AUD$2.1 million. The digit, the ACCC revealed, 'is likely the very tip of the iceberg.'