The money stolen from crypto frauds has increased over the past year even as a crash has seen cryptocurrency prices plummet.
Crypto fraudsters stole 58 per cent more money in the past 12 months with victims in the UK generally losing £36,250 per fraud, a report by cyber security company NordVPN revealed today.
Total losses from crypto fraud were over £226m in the year to May 2022, compared with over £142.9m in the previous 12 months
Cybercriminals have pounced on their victims despite a “crypto winter” gripping the market, with £118 million already stolen this year. The prices of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether are down over 55 per cent and almost 70 per cent this year.
“With inflation skyrocketing and traditional savings rates failing to keep up, bogus crypto investment schemes offering the prospect for high returns are the perfect bait for scammers,” Marijus Briedis, CTO and digital privacy expert at NordVPN said.
“These frauds are thriving, despite the huge crash in Bitcoin and other currencies, and worryingly the clear rise in the amounts stolen per fraud shows the scammers are getting better at fleecing their victims.”
Young people are the most likely targets. Such scams are often advertised on social media and use fake celebrity endorsements, with phishing emails and texts also used by crypto thieves. Aggressive malware is also spreading.
“As cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), criminals are finding it easier to lure Brits to bogus investment and pension schemes with the promise of market-beating returns,” the report said.