Author: Gan Jia Ci
Australians have reportedly lost the most amount of money in 2017 to scammers, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) reports.
According to the published report, there was a total of 200,000 scam cases reported that aggregated to a loss of AUD $340 million in 2017, marking a $40 million increase from 2016.
Among the different scam categories, cryptocurrency-based scams accounted for a significant portion of the total loss. Approximately $100,000 worth of loss was reported every month from January to September 2017.
In December, the amount skyrocketed to $700,000, causing the average reported loss to surge from $1885 in January to $13205.
The reported noted that there was a direct linear relationship between the value of actual cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency-related scam losses. By December, the total amount of losses surpassed $2.1 million.
The report stated,
“Examples of cryptocurrency scams in 2017 include fake ‘initial coin offerings’ which, like initial stock offerings, purport to be the launch of a new cryptocurrency. Others capitalised on the general confusion about how cryptocurrency works and instead of people discovering how to directly buy cryptocurrencies, many found themselves caught up in what were essentially pyramid schemes. A number of reports showed that victims entered into cryptocurrency-based scams through friends and family who convinced them they were onto a good thing, a classic element of pyramid schemes.”
In February, the ACCC also reported that Australia’s national consumer watchdog received over 1,289 public complaints due to cryptocurrency-related scams.