More than 46,000 people reported being a victim of a crypto scam, the median amount lost was $2,600 per person.
- According to the recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, the top cryptos people claimed they used to pay scammers were Bitcoin, Tether, and Ether.
- The FTC report also found that certain crypto traits including its decentralized nature, low regulatory oversight, and fast transaction, explain why the reported losses in 2021 were nearly 60 times what they were in 2018.
- Nearly half of the people who suffered a crypto scam said it initially started on a social media web site as an investment or romance.
According to a report released earlier this month by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), since the beginning of last year, more than 46,000 people have reported losing over $1 billion in crypto scams — that’s about 1 out of every 4 dollars reported lost, more than any other payment method. The study further found that the median amount lost by a crypto scamming victim was $2,600 per person.
Additionally, the FTC stated in its report that nearly half of the people who suffered a crypto scam said it initially occurred on a social media web site. The top social platforms cited as having the most reported scams were Instagram (32%), Facebook (26%), WhatsApp (9%), and Telegram (7%). The FTC data further showed that the top cryptocurrencies people said they used to pay scammers were Bitcoin (70%), Tether (10%), and Ether (9%).
Three tips the FTC suggests to not fall victim to crypto scams
One of the more surprising aspects of the FTC report was that younger people were more likely to be a victim of a crypto scam than older demographics, which could be due to wider crypto adoption among Gen Z, millennials, and Gen X cohorts.
The FTC findings also uncovered that individuals between the ages of 20 and 49 were more than three times as likely as older age groups to have reported losing cryptocurrency to a scammer. Reports point to people in their 30s as the hardest hit — 35% of their reported fraud losses since 2021 were in cryptocurrency.
To help curb the incidence of successful crypto scammers, the FTC provides these three tips to help you avoid falling victim to a crypto con.
- Only scammers will guarantee profits or big returns. No cryptocurrency investment is ever guaranteed to make money, let alone big money.
- Nobody legit will require you to buy cryptocurrency. Not to sort out a problem, not to protect your money. That’s a scam.
- Never mix online dating and investment advice. If a new love interest wants to show you how to invest in crypto, or asks you to send them crypto, that’s a scam.
It’s worth noting that a Chainalysis study from earlier this year found that incidence of NFT fraud and scams were on the rise as well. If you’ve been a crypto scam victim you can report it by visiting ReportFraud.ftc.gov. And if you want to learn more about cryptocurrency scams — and how to spot and avoid scams generally — visit ftc.gov/cryptocurrency.
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