|Aug 11, 2018 10:39 PM||By: Ben Noble | 6462 Views|
A new report issued by the British authorities warns citizens of a prominent increase in cryptocurrency investment scams taking place inside the country over the summer. According to civil fraud and cybercrime describing center Action Fraud, 203 incidents of fraudsters cold calling sufferers using social media platforms to advertise ‘get rich quick’ investments including cryptocurrency trading and mining between June and July have cost victims £2,059,501.29 (~$2.5 million) in losses.
“It’s important for anyone who invests or is considering of investing in cryptocurrencies to thoroughly research the company they are willing to invest with,” stated Director of Action Fraud Pauline Smith. “The statistics show that opportunistic fraudsters are taking the good of this market, offering investments in cryptocurrencies and using every method in the book to defraud innocent victims. If you think you have been the offering of this type of fraud, contact Action Fraud.”
The Action Fraud statement explains that fraudsters have been tricking unsuspecting victims into signing up for fake cryptocurrency investment websites and giving up personal data such as credit card details and driver’s license information to the sites to open up accounts. After making an initial deposit, fraudsters often call investors and convert them to invest even more in the platform by ensuring higher returns.
In most cases, victims don’t realize they have been cheated until the website disappears and they cease being touched by scammers for more money.
The United Kingdom is suddenly becoming one of the fastest growing markets for cryptocurrency investments. So much so that several of the world’s leading crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Binance are actively working to increase their engagement in the area by acquiring UK exchange licenses and offering British Pound transaction opportunities.
The growing market has also led to an unprecedented rise in cryptocurrency-related fraud. In acknowledgment of this, UK authorities are calling for greater police and public education encompassing cryptocurrency. The City of London Police and the Economic Crime Academy (ECA) are cracking new ground in this area by launching a new course on cryptocurrencies.
Authorities in the field are now running a one-day course on cryptocurrencies called the Economic Crime Directorate. The program is intended to give “officers the skills and knowledge to understand and manage cryptocurrencies in their investigations.”
“Professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts don’t always mean that an investment opportunity is good,” warns Action Fraud. “Criminals can use the names of well-known brands or individuals to make their scams seem legitimate. A certain bank or financial organization won’t force you to part with your money on the spot. Always be careful if you’re pressured to spend quickly or promised returns that sound too good to be true. Avoid uninvited investment offers, particularly those over cold calls. If you’re thinking about investing, get independent advice and thoroughly investigate the company first.”
Action Fraud is encouraging UK citizens who have fallen offering to cybercrime to file a statement with British authorities here.