Cryptocurrency scams were reportedly the most common type of fraud in Australia during the first six months of the year. Locals parted with roughly $25 million after becoming victims of such fraudulent schemes.
‘If Something Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is’
According to a recent report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), investment scams have risen to record levels in the country this year. Interestingly, frauds involving digital assets represent half of the total cases.
Delia Rickard – ACCC Deputy Chair – revealed Aussies lost nearly 70 million AUD (or 50 million USD) because of such scams for the period between January and July 2021. Cryptocurrencies, and especially Bitcoin, ranked first as the most common investment frauds:
“More than half of the $70 million in losses were to cryptocurrency, especially through Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency scams were also the most commonly reported type of investment scam, with 2,240 reports.”
Ms. Rickard added that bad actors often lure victims with promises of high profits and zero investment risks. She warned that such cases should raise investors’ attention instead of joining them carelessly:
“Be wary of investment opportunities with low risk and high returns. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Life Savings Lost in a Crypto Scam
Dealing with digital currencies can be risky not only because of the asset class’ volatility but also because of the numerous bad actors in the industry.
As CryptoPotato reported in May, an Australian nurse waiting for her retirement became a victim of such a fraudulent scheme and lost her entire life savings.
The resident of Sydney – Rhonda – was browsing the internet when she saw an advertisement offering bitcoin investment using a fake celebrity endorsement by popular people in Australia.
She found the offer interesting and ”invested” $350, entering her email address and phone number into a brief online form. Rhonda had some positive returns at the beginning and enjoyed good communication with the people behind the scam.
The woman was aiming to make more and more money and periodically fueled more funds into the investment. Unfortunately, when checking her account after a while, Rhonda noticed that hundreds of thousands of dollars were missing.
The Australian officials have been trying to find the scammers and help the victim restore her money, but the operation has failed. Furthermore, the nurse said her plans of retirement were now gone.