Australians have lost millions of dollars due to the rise of cryptocurrencies and investment fraud

Australians have lost millions of dollars due to the rise of cryptocurrencies and investment fraud

According to a new analysis from Australia’s top competition regulator, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australians lost more than twice as much money to scammers in the first four months of 2022 as they did the previous year. According to data released on Monday by Scamwatch, which is managed by the ACCC, Australians lost over 205 million Australian dollars (about 147 million US dollars) to scammers between Jan. 1 and May 1, 2022, a 166 percent rise over the first four months of 2021. The majority of the money lost was lost as a result of investment frauds, which accounted for more than 75% of all money lost.

In response to the stark increase of scams, the body is set to introduce new rules to block spam text messages later this year, and is investigating a number of cryptocurrency scam operations. Earlier in the year, the ACCC instituted Federal Court proceedings against Facebook for publishing ads misusing Australian celebrities to peddle fraudulent crypto ads on the social media platform.

“We are seeing more money lost to investment scams and so are urging all Australians not to trust investment opportunities that seem too good to be true,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard. Additionally, the majority of the scams were conducted via text message and involved cryptocurrency or fake cryptocurrency investments. The ACCC urged people to be wary of sending cryptocurrencies to people they had only met online. “Many consumers are unfamiliar with the complexities of cryptocurrency and this can make them more vulnerable to scams.”

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