According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), over $1 billion has been lost to crypto-related scams since January of 2021. More than half that, $575 million, was in connection to these types of investment scams.
These scams involve sophisticated cryptocurrency investment platforms that appear elaborate, official-looking, and that have thousands of active users but are actually fraudulent. The scam focuses on encouraging victims to deposit funds into the platform in a small amount to test investing and then upon seeing large returns refocuses to get the victim to deposit more and more into the platform until the investment account is emptied and the funds are taken.
What to know:
- The majority of victims noted it started with an advertisement or contact through social media or a dating site.
What to watch for:
- New acquaintances recommending high-yield cryptocurrency investments
- Random emails or messages from someone you don’t know, attempting to engage in frequent conversation
- New acquaintances who avoid phone or video conversations.
- Conversations that quickly turn to investments or high-return earnings
If you are suspicious of a potential cybercrimes, such as these crypto investment scams, please report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).