Scams continued to plague Australians in 2022, with crypto payments seeing a hefty uptick compared to the previous year.
In 2022, Australians lost a record $2.03 billion to scammers, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). This is a significant increase from the $1.48 billion lost in 2021. The ACCC’s report also found that investment scams accounted for more than 66% of all financial losses, up from 55% in 2021.
One of the most concerning trends in the ACCC’s report is the rise of crypto scams. In 2022, nearly 4,000 Australians reported using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a payment method to transfer funds to scammers. This represents a significant increase from the 1,981 Australians who reported using crypto in 2021.
The ACCC’s report found that crypto scammers often target people who are looking to invest in cryptocurrency. They may pose as legitimate investment firms or individuals, and they may offer high-yield returns on investments. However, once you send them your money, you will never see it again.
If you are thinking about investing in cryptocurrency, it is important to do your research and only invest with reputable companies. You should also be very careful about who you send your money to. If you are contacted by someone who is offering you a high-yield investment opportunity, be very skeptical. It is likely that they are a scammer.
Crypto payments top investment scams
In 2022, Australians lost a record $2.03 billion to scammers. Investment scams were the most common, accounting for more than 66% of all losses. Cryptocurrencies were the most popular payment method for investment scams, with criminals receiving $92.37 million in digital assets.
The typical victim of an investment scam is a male residing in New South Wales, aged 65 years or above. Scammers often target these individuals because they may be more likely to have savings and be less familiar with cryptocurrency.
Australian Regulator Reports Uptick of Crypto Use in Investment Scams
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has reported that cryptocurrency payments are now more common than bank transfers in investment scams. This is a worrying trend, as it means that scammers are finding new and innovative ways to steal people’s money.
The ACCC’s report found that investment scams have increased by 90% in the past year, with victims losing a total of $103 million. The most common type of investment scam involves scammers posing as legitimate investment firms or brokers. They will contact potential victims and offer them the chance to invest in high-yield, low-risk investments. However, these investments are usually fake, and the scammers will simply take the victim’s money.
Another common type of investment scam involves romance scams. In these scams, scammers will create fake profiles on dating websites and social media platforms. They will then contact potential victims and build a relationship with them. Once they have gained the victim’s trust, they will ask for money to help them with an investment opportunity. However, this money will never be returned.
The ACCC is warning Australians to be very careful when it comes to investment opportunities. If you are approached by someone offering you an investment opportunity, be sure to do your research before you hand over any money. You should also be wary of anyone who asks you to pay for an investment with cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a very difficult form of payment to trace, which makes it ideal for scammers.
If you think you have been the victim of an investment scam, you should report it to the ACCC. You can also contact your bank or credit card company to dispute any charges that have been made. By reporting scams, you can help to protect other people from becoming victims.