Australia has recorded $113m worth of stolen goods because of various “investment” scams over first five months of 2022.
The total amount of money lost to crypto-related fraud is much higher, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) – around $205m by the company’s own estimates.
The present number is a 166% increase year-over-year with first-time investors becoming the most desirable targets for scammers.
They are inexperienced, keen to make the most out of their money, and not yet aware how deepfakes of celebrities and rug pulls work.
But it’s not just full-time investors who fall victims, ordinary Australians and even highly educated and trained individuals are falling for the same tricks.
There is a frenetic rise in crypto scams, according to regulators, with Web3 technology now being more readily adopted, NFTs and investment opportunities proliferating.
This comes in the context of a global slump for cryptocurrencies. Coinbase has officially confirmed that a new “crypto winter” has settled in.
This means that investors may be less likely to continue investing as rapidly, with the push behind such projects waning.
However, the push behind crypto scams is unlikely to subside, and investors may be exposed to more dodgy schemes than ever before.
Interest in crypto is soaring with retail consumers even though banks have been warning that they won’t allow consumers to invest in crypto using their platforms.
As a result, more consumers are turning to third-parties. The current downturn is hailed by crypto proponents as an opportunity for the industry to self-correct, but others remain as skeptical as ever (including Dogecoin’s co-founder) that crypto is just scam.
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