On one hand Australia is becoming a top nation to allow crypto and blockchain revolution, on the other hand, crypto scams in Australia have appeared to jump up by 190% in 2018.
Very recently, Coingape reported how Aussies can now be able to use Bitcoin, lightening network and other altcoins to buy Kebabs in one of Australia’s fast food ventures. However, a report on April 29, 2019, highlights that Aussies lost $6.1 million to cryptocurrency scams in the year 2018.
ACCC – Aussies lost $6.1m to Cryptocurrency Scams
The independent authority of the Australians Govt, ‘Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), published an annual report in the form of pdf wherein it details the figures of cryptocurrency fraud. This report highlights Australian fraudsters have earned USD$4.3 million which comes around $6.1 million AUD in 2018 – eventually 190% increase in comparison to the year 2017.
Nevertheless, the agency reportedly received 674 reports as the involvement of crypto to pay to scammers. Out of this 674 reports received by the ACCC, half of the reports were made by male victims between the age of 25 – 34. According to the reports, crypto-based scams rank the second highest as the unusual payment method for losses. Looks like the report was made after surveying the citizens via different governmental agencies (such as ATO – Australian Taxation Office)wherein many have found investing or purchasing various cryptocurrencies through scam software platforms or other investment-oriented crypto scams. ACCC said that
“Victims reported being tricked by online scammers into purchasing various cryptocurrencies through the scammer’s software platform, but, as with other investment scams, when they tried to cash out, the scammers either made excuses or were no longer contactable,” ACCC added. “These investment scams also included scammers asking for payment in cryptocurrency for forex trading, commodity trading or other investment opportunities.”
ACCC is more like a consumer watchdog which mentioned many other victims received a robotic voice threatening calls that demands to call back – and in case of failure, it says to issue an arrest warrant under victim’s name and get him arrested.
More on this, many other Aussies received a fake call, from local phone numbers claiming a person to be from ‘Australian Taxation Office’ or ATO. The caller used to tell the victims to check the warrant sent to for their arrest as if the victims owe enormous tax debts. On such demand, reports state that the one victim has also paid the impersonator $732,917 via Bitcoin, $647,817 via Google Play cards and $496,701 via iTunes cards – as three were used as the increasing method to scam Aussies.
The report adds that;
“In 2018, the ATO received 114,625 reports of the ATO impersonation scam with over $2.8 million in reported losses,”
What’s your stake on the increasing use of crypto to scam investors and citizens.? what do you think the best method Australian Govt can take up.? Share your opinion with us
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Tabassum is a full-time content writer at Coingape. Her passion lies in writing and delivering apt information to users. Currently, she does not hold any form of cryptocurrencies. Follow her on Twitter at @Tabassumnaiz and reach out to her at Tabassum[at]coingape.com