Britons have lost more than 2 million British pounds ($2.55 million) in only two months due to cryptocurrency related criminal activities, the UK national police project Action Fraud said on Friday. Fraudsters used mainly social media channels to advertise their ‘quick investment’ Ponzi schemes the June and July data showed.
UK police revealed that the average loss was roughly 11,000 British pounds (around $13,000). Fake mining or trading offerings were the most popular ways of stealing money.
Mining is the process of ‘creating’ cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). As this activity has become very popular, criminals have started to target this market by offering fake investments in creating coins presented as highly valuable. This technique is different from cryptojacking, when browsers of innocent people are hacked without their consent to mine cryptocurrencies.
“Fraudsters will convince victims to sign up to cryptocurrency investment websites and to part with their personal details such as credit card details and driving licences to open a trading account. The victim will then make an initial minimum deposit, after which the fraudster will call them to persuade them to invest again in order to achieve a greater profit,”
the Action Fraud project said.
In the last two months, Britons filed 203 reports to the Action Fraud project at the national cybercrime reporting center. The initiative is part of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), which is under the umbrella of the City of London Police department.
“It’s vital for anyone who invests or is thinking of investing in cryptocurrencies to thoroughly research the company they are choosing to invest with,”
Pauline Smith, director of Action Fraud, said.
“The statistics show that opportunistic fraudsters are taking advantage of this market, offering investments in cryptocurrencies and using every trick in the book to defraud unsuspecting victims.”