The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed that Americans parted with over $10 billion last year due to online fraud.
Wrongdoers drained $2.57 billion of that amount via cryptocurrency investment schemes.
Crypto Scams on the Rise
Despite the predominantly bearish year for the cryptocurrency industry, 2022 was fruitful for criminals. They stole nearly $2.6 billion from American consumers using investment schemes related to bitcoin and other digital assets. In contrast, such fraud resulted in “just” $907 million in 2021.
“Crypto investment scams saw unprecedented increases in the number of victims and the dollar losses to these investors. Many victims have assumed massive debt to cover losses from these fraudulent investments,” the FBI report reads.
The agency disclosed that the most targeted group is people aged 30 to 49. Previous studies have shown that such individuals are pretty active in the crypto field, while older investors have not yet embraced the asset class.
The FBI outlined the most common ways in which crypto scammers attack victims. They often lure people into linking their wallets to a fraudulent liquidity mining application and thus steal their funds or hack their social media accounts.