There has been a significant increase in the use of digital currencies ever since Covid-19 pandemic started. However, scammers have taken advantage of the pandemic to scam cryptocurrency users, investors and other innocent people. Last week alone, an investor in the UK lost more than $283,200 through a cryptocurrency scam.
As per Federal Trade Commission data, it is clear that crypto asset scams have skyrocketed by over 1000% since October 2020 and people between the ages of 20 to 39 years are the most affected ones. They make up about 45% of the over 7000 reported losses.
In the United States alone, more than $80 million in digital currency has been lost in the past eight months and the median loss is about $1,900. The losses generally occur when the prices of Bitcoin and other popular crypto assets increase.
For instance, during the time when the price of Bitcoin (BTC) was trading above $64k, Turkey arrested four scammers from crypto asset platforms called Vebitcoin. Authorities in the country also arrested over 80 people to be used in the investigation by Istanbul prosecutors into Thodex crypto asset site over serious accusations of scamming and defrauding customers and stealing their hard earned millions of money.
Last week, the Police authority in the UK came out to warn the community to be more careful to the devastating impact of crypto asset investment fraud following the event where a Nottingham man lost £200k (about $283,204) via a Bitcoin scam.
The criminals persuaded the man whose identity is reserved for security and investigation purposes, to invest his money into an illegal brokerage company online. They went ahead to access the victim's PC remotely and obtained his sensitive personal data that helped the fraudsters to take out huge amounts of loans in his name. The fraudsters even reached the extent of visiting the victim at his home and collecting cash to go and invest for him in the fake crypto asset investment.
Cryptocurrency investors and users are encouraged to do their own research first before making an investment. Besides, they advise investing the amount people can afford to lose. In this case, a loss will not become a catastrophe.
According to Detective Sergeant David Beach, of the force's fraud triage team, cryptocurrency venture capitalists and users should go online and double check each and every detail before submitting their hard-earned funds or sensitive personal details.