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  • Inflation in the number of crypto scams.
  • Scammers use fake platforms to ransack crypto funds.

Australia saw inflation of almost 200% in the number of Crypto scams during last year, says a report by country’s consumer watchdog. It was reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that cryptocurrency had been used to pay scammers reporting to a loss of AU$6.1 million (US$4.3 million). Crypto scams in 2017 amounted to AU$2.1 million (US$1.48 million).

Consumers are tricked into buying cryptocurrencies from fake platforms. Scammers “made excuses or were no longer contactable” when consumers wanted to make any transactions.

Victims were also asked to pay in cryptocurrency for forex trading, commodity trading or other investment opportunities by the scammers. Investment scams regarding cryptocurrency resulted in the loss of AU$2.6 million (US$1.83 million). In a few cases, victims were reportedly asked to visit bitcoin ATMs to convert fiat into the cryptocurrency and then transfer it to them by the scammers.

ACCC deputy chairman Delia Rickard said that total losses were higher than AU$489 million (US$345 million). Rickard added:

“And these record losses are likely just the tip of the iceberg. We know that not everyone who suffers a loss to a scammer reports it to a government agency.”