Scammers in Australia Earned $20.5M in Crypto Funds Final 12 months

Bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies had been the second hottest cost methodology for scammers focusing on Australians final 12 months. 

According to a report launched earlier this month by the Australian Competitors and Shopper Fee (ACCC), Australians paid out a complete of AU$26.5 million ($20.5 million) in Bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies to scammers in 2020. 

The ACCC is a regulatory physique of the Australian authorities. Its mandate is to guard shopper rights, carry out business monitoring, and implement Australia’s fair competition act.

This cost methodology was the second hottest cost methodology for scammers, following financial institution transfers, which noticed the lack of AU$97 million ($75.1 million). In whole, Australians misplaced out on AU$851 million ($659 million) to scams in 2020. 

“Bitcoin and different cost strategies at the moment are frequent methods for scammers to obtain cash,” the report mentioned, including, “It’s probably that we are going to see elevated use of Bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies within the years to return.” 

What’s extra, Scamwatch, the first authorities web site for Australians to report scams, noticed a 23% improve in scams reported in comparison with the earlier 12 months. 

Catfishing and crypto in Australia

The varieties of scams that function cryptocurrencies differed extensively, per the report. 

One technique described within the report is “romance baiting,” the place scammers make contact with victims within the context of a romantic curiosity—as a rule on a well-liked relationship app like Tinder. 

Scammers would additionally snag victims by means of engaging get-rich-quick investments, with cryptocurrencies being the most typical sort of funding. The scammer then asks the sufferer to switch a sum, and the rip-off ends “when the sufferer has no more cash to offer,” the report mentioned. 

“BEC scams” are a kind of phishing assault wherein victims are despatched a fraudulent electronic mail. Greenback quantities in Australian {dollars}. Supply: ACCC.

The report additionally particulars movie star endorsement scams as a well-liked tactic in Australia. 

Per the report, there are two sorts of movie star endorsement scams: these purporting to promote a product utilizing a celeb’s picture and those who supply funding alternatives, “normally in cryptocurrency schemes.” 

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