Crypto scams have cost consumers more than $ 1 billion since early 2021, according to a new one Analysis of the Federal Trade Commission.

Figures based on losses reported by consumers from January 2021 to March 2022 also show that crypto is becoming the preferred payment for many fraudsters, representing about one in four dollars lost by fraud, the FTC says.

Most cryptocurrency fraud stems from fraudulent investment schemes totaling $ 575 million in reported losses. Scams often promise huge returns in exchange for a crypto investment, but instead people report losing all their cryptocurrencies.

Consumers also report losing their cryptocurrency due to romantic scams in which a love interest persuades them to invest in crypto fraud, and government and business identity fraud targeting consumers by telling them that money they are at risk due to fraud or government investigation and that the only way to protect it is to convert it into cryptocurrency.

The report also shows that many of the scams start on social media. Nearly half of users who report a cryptocurrency scam say it started with an advertisement, post or message on a social media site, the FTC said.

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