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Online fraud cost US citizens more than $10 billion in 2022, $2.57 billion of which came from frauds involving cryptocurrency investments.

Based on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), online fraud cost Americans over $10 billion in the past year. Of that sum, criminals siphoned $2.57 billion through bitcoin investment schemes.

A Increase In Cryptocurrency Scams

2022 was a profitable year for criminals despite being a rather gloomy year for the bitcoin industry. They defrauded US consumers out of approximately $2.6 billion by exploiting investment scams involving bitcoin and other digital assets. Contrarily, fraud of this nature cost "only" $907 million in 2021. The FBI report reads:

“Crypto investment scams saw unprecedented increases in the number of victims and the dollar losses to these investors. Many victims have assumed massive debt to cover losses from these fraudulent investments.”

The biggest targeted demographic, based on the organization, is between the ages of 30 and 49. Recent research has revealed that while elderly investors have not yet embraced the asset class, these people are rather engaged in the cryptosphere.

The FBI listed the most typical methods by which victims are attacked by cryptocurrency scammers. They frequently use deceptive liquidity mining applications to trick individuals into connecting their wallets to them, allowing them to steal their money or compromise their social media accounts.

Another common technique is celebrity impersonation, in which fraudsters upload a photo of a well-known person to a video promoting a shady investment plan to give it the appearance of legitimacy. Naturally, the celebrities haven't granted their consent to be in the advertisement, and victims who fall for the scam frequently lose their money.

Hence, cryptocurrency scammers occasionally pose as real estate agents or employees of a firm that provides investment advice. Yet instead of offering helpful advice, they want to take as much as they can from the targeted.

Romantic Crypto Fraud Was Also Growing In Popularity

In line with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study, between January 2021 and March 2022, these frauds targeted thousands of Americans and stole $185 million from them.

Criminals frequently target lonely people by seeming as though they are in love with them. After they have their trust, they persuade them to put money into a secret cryptocurrency project by telling them that the substantial returns may be used to pay for a future wedding or romantic getaway. Bankless Times explained:

“Victims of romance scams learn that the heart is not so smart the hard way. Their search for love makes them easy pickings for conniving individuals that dupe them out of their money. They put on an elaborate con that has their victims swooning over them, and by the time the victim catches on, they’ll be several thousand dollars poor.”

Such fraud appears to be rather common in the United Kingdom. After talking online with a lady by the name of Jia, a British guy whose identity was kept a secret last year lost $200,000 worth of bitcoin. The other persuaded him to invest the funds in a dubious app, promising handsome profits. Shortly after, the man saw that his equilibrium had "cleared," and the woman cut off her contact with him.

This year, a similar scam led to the loss of $207,000 by a British retiree in Nottinghamshire. She fell in love with a man who identified himself as a US Army doctor and requested money be sent to a specific bitcoin wallet. More than half of the money was recovered by her bank and the local police.

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