£2 million lost to cryptocurrency fraud over last two months, data reveals

business crime

Data published by Action Fraud has revealed that UK consumers lost £2 million to cryptocurrency scams during June and July.

According to Action Fraud, criminals are using social media platforms in order to advertise ‘get rich quick’ investment schemes and trading in cryptocurrencies.

Criminals convince their victims to register with cryptocurrency websites and supply their personal information, such as credit card details, in order to open a trading account. The victim is then asked to make an initial minimum deposit, with the criminal subsequently calling the individual to persuade them to invest again to ‘achieve a greater profit’.

In many instances victims realised they had been defrauded only after the cryptocurrency website was deactivated.

203 reports of cryptocurrency fraud were filed with Action Fraud between 1 June 2018 and 31 July 2018, with the amount lost to this form of fraud totalling £2,059,501.29.

‘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,’ said Pauline Smith, Director of Action Fraud.

‘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.’

Individuals who believe they have been affected by cryptocurrency fraud are urged to contact Action Fraud.