A report by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) shows that crypto scams amount to a very small percentage of the overall scams in the Australian economy while investment and dating related scams rule the scam report.
Crypto Scams amount to AU$2.1 million out of AU$340 million
In the scams activity 2017 report published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), it has been revealed that about AU$2.1 million were lost in the cryptocurrency scams in the year 2017. According to this report, more than a thousand Australians were subjected to the crypto scams that involved pyramid schemes, fake ICOs, and ransom attacks and more.
If we take a look at the complete figures, the overall Australian scam economy is of AU$340 million. Out of this figure, the biggest chunk of AU$64 million was attributed to the investment scams which was followed by the online dating related scams at AU$42 million.
As per the figures, crypto scams amount to only about 0.617 percent of the total loss.
The report shows that approximately AU$100,000 was lost in crypto related scams every month that went up in December 2017 in tandem with Bitcoin price which rose to its all-time high of around $20,000.
“In the fourth quarter of 2017, the value and popularity of cryptocurrencies increased worldwide. Scammers adapt each year and find ways to exploit popular trends, new platforms, new ways of communicating, fad products, changes to legislation or new investment opportunities.”
It further states:
“As the value of actual cryptocurrencies increased, so too did the scam losses in what people thought were real investments. By the end of the year, reports of losses related to cryptocurrencies exceeded $2.1 million but as with other scams, this is likely the very tip of the iceberg.”
Authorities get active on crypto scams
Fake Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), lack of knowledge or confusion about how crypto works, and pyramid schemes were the prime examples of crypto scams that also involved the use of modern technology like social media to deceive people.
About 33,00 people reported impersonation scams to Scamwatch, which is run by the ACCC, out of which 2,800 people revealed their personal information registering the loss of AU$4.7 million in losses.
Delia Rickard, the Deputy Chair at ACCC said:
“The ATO will never threaten you with immediate arrest; Telstra will never need to access your computer to ‘fix’ a problem; and Centrelink will never require a fee to pay money it owes you.”
Recently, The Wall Street Journal also released a report on fraudulent ICOs, according to which, out of 1,450 ICOs, 271 showed the signs of being a scam. A few days back, SEC launched a fake ICO website to show how easy it is to create one.
What are your views on the report and its findings that crypto scams are a tiny part of overall Australian scam economy? Share your thoughts with us!