According to a Which? report, on average, £41,000 was lost each day in the past year to crypto scams. The figures were exclusively given to Which? by the National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre.
However, people should be alert to more damaging fiat scams. Our economy loses £5bn ‑ £10 billion each year to fraud, claims National Trading Standards (NTS). According to a new report by UK Finance, £50.1 million was lost to investment scams last year.
The average age of victims is 75 with over half of people over 65 targeted. Friends Against Scams, run by NTS offers training for those who want to protect themselves.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently released information on the impact of cryptocurrencies in the UK, finding that British consumers are mostly uninformed about how the technology works and see cryptocurrencies as a road to easy wealth.
Victim Johanna Butt, saw a Facebook ad featuring a photo of Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden promoting an investment company called Bitcoin Loophole. She contacted them and says that they explained how it worked, how she could make money and what was in it for them. Deborah Meaden’s image was used without her knowledge or consent.
‘He didn’t pressure me into investing but made it sound all so sensible,” said Ms Butt. “He even asked how I’d spend the money I’d make”. She paid the minimum investment of £300 but had second thoughts the following day. She called her bank and found out that as well the £300, a further £8,500 had been drained from her account. Because she’d set up a trading account, the bank couldn’t refund her.
If Something Seems Too Good To Be True, It Isn’t
She eventually got her money back with the help of the Which? Money Helpline, but it took seven months. Bitcoin Loophole ludicrously tell customers they can make as much as $13 000 in one day. Their website claims that members of their “exclusive group” are “living it up in exotic locations in every corner of the globe”.