Australian scammers earned $20 million in crypto payments in 2020 and victims were often enticed via get-rich-quick investments, fake celebrity endorsements and catfishing so let’s read more in our latest cryptocurrency news today.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were the second most popular payment method for the scammers that targeted the citizens of Australia last year. According to a report released earlier this month by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Australia paid out about $26. 5 million in BTC and other cryptocurrencies to scammers in 2020. The ACC is a regulatory body of the Australian government and has a goal to protect consumer rights, perform industry monitoring, and enforce the fair competition act of Australia.
The payment method was the second most popular payment method for scammers after the bank transfers which saw a loss of $75.1 million. Australians lost about $659 million to scams in 2020 as the report said:
“Bitcoin and other payment methods are now common ways for scammers to receive money. It is likely that we will see increased use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the years to come.”
What’s more, Scamwatch which is the main government website for Australians to report scams, saw an increase of 23% in scams that were reported compared to the previous year. The type of scams that feature cryptocurrencies differed widely according to the report. One of the most popular strategies was romance baiting where the Australian scammers make contact with victims in a context of romantic interest on dating apps like Tinder. Scammers also snagged victims via enticing get-rich-fast investments with crypto being the most common type of investment. The scammers asked the victims to transfer a sum and then the scam ended up with the victim having no money to give. The report also detailed celebrity endorsement scams that were very popular worldwide.
The report also detailed celebrity endorsement scams as a popular tactic in Australia and the report noted that there were two kinds of celebrity endorsement scams, ones that purported to sell a product using an image of a celebrity and those that offer investment opportunities in crypto schemes.
As recently reported, Rhonda, the nurse from Australia, lost all of her savings after she invested in a fake bitcoin fund and the malicious actors stole hundreds of thousands from women in Sydney before they got to Rhonda. The nurse revealed in an interview that she invested in a crypto scam and lost all of her life savings and urged other investors to see the red flags that she should have known about. The nurse worked in Sydney for 44 years before she saw an ad on the internet that offered BTC by using a fake celebrity endorsement.
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