The number of cryptocurrency-related crimes in the UK has increased significantly in the first nine months of 2021 compared to last year, according to a recent report. Local police have warned that bad actors often use fake celebrity endorsement to lure people in.
Young people are most at risk
According to recent Bloomberg coverage, there were 7,118 reports of digital asset scams in the UK between January and October of this year. Victims separated by nearly $ 200 million for that period, up 30% from all of 2020.
The authorities pointed out that more than 50% of those duped were between 18 and 45 years old. Investing in bitcoin and altcoins is very popular among younger locals, as nearly half of those under 30 choose the crypto market as their first investment option. As such, they are expected to have become a target for fraudsters.
City of London Police also reported that the most common tactic by criminals was to lure people into false celebrity mentions, as 79% of all cases were of this type. Chief Temporary Detective Inspector Craig Mullish commented:
“Reports of cryptocurrency fraud have increased dramatically over the past few years. Being more online means criminals have a greater opportunity to approach unsuspecting victims with fraudulent investment opportunities. “
Speaking of such schemes, it should be noted that last year Steve Wozniak filed a lawsuit against YouTube. According to him, the platform failed to take the necessary steps to prevent bogus Bitcoin gifts with his face on it. A year later, however, he lost the case because his arguments weren’t strong enough to bring him a victory in court.
The United Kingdom – Heaven for crypto scammers
The UK is classified as a ‘haven’ for local criminals when it talks about crypto-related frauds. At least that’s what David Lindberg, managing director of retail banking at NatWest recently said.
He said he had “never seen a worse market” than the UK for scams. To solve the problem, the UK government, police, banks and social media operators should join forces:
“Fraud and scams are an industry. They are smart, they move fast, and it’s heartbreaking how they try to destroy lives.
The main banker also warned that some of the bad players are creating websites where people can invest in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. However, they are actually bogus and the money goes into the pockets of fraudsters.
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