Investment Scams Increase 53% in Australia as Victims Lose Over $70 Million This Year

August 25, 2021, 10:00 AM AEST - 1 month ago

According to a report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Aussies have lost over A$70 million during the first half of this year and more than half of that number is attributed to cryptocurrency investment scams.

Crypto Scams on the Rise in Australia

Scamwatch, an Australian statistics website run by the ACCC, has received at least 4,763 investment scam reports so far in 2021, a 53.4 percent increase from the 3,104 reported in the first half of 2020.

Amount lost by Australians. Source: Scamwatch Australia

The total amount lost by Australians totals A$166 million for 2021 so far, attributed to 151,000 reported scams.

Types of scams in Australia. Source: Scamwatch Australia

Cryptocurrencies were the most used payment method to deceive Aussies and caused the biggest losses. Of the 1,931 reports, 955 (49.5 percent) were due to cryptocurrency losses amounting to A$29,277,896, with bitcoin accounting for more than A$25 million of that amount.

Investment scams are more prevalent than ever, and scammers are capitalising on interest in cryptocurrency in particular. More than half of the $70 million in losses were to cryptocurrency, especially through bitcoin, and cryptocurrency scams were also the most commonly reported type of investment scam, with 2,240 reports.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard

Recent Crypto Trading Scams

One the most common scams highlighted by the ACCC is fake crypto trading platforms, something that has become a lucrative business for scammers.

As previously reported by Crypto News Australia, the number of fake crypto trading sites has been growing in Australia as scammers have been designing highly detailed websites posing as crypto exchanges and targeting victims via email or Telegram.

Be wary of investment opportunities with low risk and high returns. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard

Bitcoin accounted for the most used cryptocurrency regarding investment scams, with A$26 million losses this year compared to A$17.8 million in 2020, a 44 percent increase.

Australians are losing record amounts thanks to the numerous scams going around. Currently, the top crypto scams in Australia are investment scams, romance scams, personal identity mining and illegal crypto mining.

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