Explosion in cryptocurrency investment fraud


Scammers pretending to be Elon Musk and barrage of ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes lead to an explosion in cryptocurrency investment fraud

Scammers pretending to be Elon Musk and a barrage of ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes have led to an explosion in cryptocurrency investment fraud. 

Reports of investors being duped into fake investments for digital currencies such as bitcoin have doubled in the past year, according to law firm Pinsent Masons. 

Around 3,600 scams were reported to Action Fraud in the year to March 2020. 

Scammed: Reports of investors being duped into fake investments for digital currencies such as bitcoin have doubled in the past year

But this had rocketed to more than 7,000 by March 2021. 

Retail investors have been keen to cash in on the crypto boom. But so are fraudsters, who pretend to be high-profile crypto-backers such as Elon Musk, promising to double a victim’s money if they send them digital coins.

‘Pump-and-dump’ scams have also been rife. Hinesh Shah, at Pinsent Masons, said: ‘Fraudsters get attracted to almost all new investment trends. What is different is the size of the retail investor feeding frenzy around cryptocurrencies, which has attracted many more sharks.’



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