Crypto Scams Raked in $1 Billion in 2021, US Regulator Reports

June 07, 2022, 10:45 AM AEST - 3 weeks ago

According to a report by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), more than 46,000 people have been scammed out of US$1 billion-plus since the beginning of 2021.

The ‘Data Spotlight’ report says almost half of those scams began with some sort of post on a social media platform.

Facebook and Instagram Loom Large in Scams

The report detailed that Instagram was responsible for 32 percent of the scams, while Facebook, also owned by Meta, accounted for 26 percent. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced its intention to sue Meta over its failure to block crypto advertisements involving public figures that are in breach of Australian consumer law.

Most of the reported losses derived from investment schemes that offered massive returns and took advantage of people’s lack of knowledge regarding cryptocurrencies. Around US$575 million of total losses suffered were attributed to bogus investment opportunities, while a distant second was romance scams, which stood at US$185 million lost.

Retirees Record Highest Individual Losses

The report also found that people aged 20 to 49 were three times more likely to report losing money to a crypto scammer than those in an older cohort. However, the median age for individual losses was people in their 70s, with an average of US$11,708 lost.

The total losses suffered may officially stand at US$1 billion, but that figure fails to take into account the billions lost in last month’s implosion of Terra/Luna:

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