ACCC reports over $2 million lost in cryptocurrency scams by Australians in 2017

21 May 2018

According to the latest report published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the volume of funds lost as a result of fraudulent activity associated with the cryptocurrency surged dramatically in 2017 with overall losses totaling $2.1 million for Australian customers.

The report also noted that the growth of cryptocurrency scam schemes corresponds to the growth in the cryptocurrency prices recorded last year. Within the period from January to September the losses related to the cryptocurrency scam amounted to $100 thousand a month, while in December the same figure jumped up to exceed $700 thousand on the heels of Bitcoin’s price unparalleled surge.

According to the Commission, most common methods to trick consumers into con-games included fake Initial Coin Offerings, cryptocurrency investment Ponzi schemes and ransomware installed on the machines. The number of cryptocurrency frauds is expected to grow further, the regulator noted in the report.

Overall losses for Australians resulting from scams in general cost over $340 million, and $64 million were lost in the investment schemes orchestrated by con-artists.

Recent reports separately published by the Wall Street Journal also revealed that of 1,450 ICOs analyzed by the Journal, 271 featured apparent signs of fake investor documents, unfeasible investment returns and lacking or fictitious management personnel.

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