More than $1 billion have been stolen by cryptocurrency
scammers from over 46,000 individuals across the U.S. since 2021, which was nearly 60 times higher than losses in 2018, while median individual loss reached $2,600, reports CNBC
Fraudulent investment opportunities were the most prevalent scams, accounting for $575 million of crypto fraud losses, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Meanwhile, bitcoin was the primary cryptocurrency leveraged to pay scammers, followed by tether and ether.
Moreover, almost 50% of cryptocurrency scam victims have been impacted by schemes commencing with social media platform messages, with Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram being the most common sources of scam messages.
The findings also showed significantly increased odds of crypto scam victimization among people ages 20 to 49, compared with those in the older age groups.
"There's no bank or other centralized authority to flag suspicious transactions and attempt to stop fraud before it happens. These considerations are not unique to crypto transactions, but they all play into the hands of scammers," said the FTC.