Australian users have filed over 1,800 reports of crypto-related scams in 2019, collectively summing to around $21.6 Mln AU [around $14.9 Mln’s in USD].
In line with a recent study conducted by Scamwatch, an arm of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, Australian users aged between 25 to 34 were those most heavily suffering from crypto investment scams.
As per the report:
“Cloud mining farms became a standard adaptation of this kind of scam. Most were Ponzi schemes, with no real crypto assets involved.”
It goes on to characterise cloud cryptocurrency mining as an “an incredibly resource-intensive activity” that employs high computing systems to mine a coin. This is often the concept scammers are building their deception on, asking people to hold a position in nonexistent server time or space.
Drastic Increase In Crypto Related Scams In 2 Years
Scamwatch’s study reveals a drastic increase in total losses associated with scams over the past 2 years, from $234 Mln in 2017 to $437 Mln in 2019.
One example from the report is a global Ponzi-style scam calling itself “USI Tech.” It hit Australia in 2019, and Scamwatch received over 200 reports summing losses of $ 2.2 Mln paid irreversibly in Bitcoin [BTC]. Scamwatch’s report added that USI Tech is now referred to as one among the “biggest cryptocurrency scams within the world.”
The leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin [BTC] was the most preferred payment method used across in all kinds of scams within 2019, coming in second after conventional bank transfers.