The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently revealed that over 46,000 people fell victim to numerous cryptocurrency scams since the beginning of 2021, resulting in a loss of over $ 1 billion to bad actors. This was according to the FTC Data Spotlight publication on Friday.
According to its website, the FTC is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy.
Commenting on the prevalence of crypto scams, senior data researcher at the FTC, Emma Fletcher, noted:
“Since the start of 2021, more than 46,000 people have reported losing over $ 1 billion in crypto to scams – that’s about one out of every four dollars reported lost, more than any other payment method.”
In 2021, total cryptocurrency fraud losses reported summed up to $ 680 million. However, in the first quarter of this year alone, reports of crypto losses to fraud offense to a whopping $ 329 million.
Fletcher added that the median individual reported loss is $ 2,600, explaining:
“The top cryptocurrencies people said they used to pay scammers were Bitcoin (70%), Tether (10%), and Ether (9%).”
Almost Half of All Cryptocurrency Scams Began from Social Media: FTC
The FTC also reported that almost 50% of all crypto scams reported started with “An ad, post, or message on a social media platform.” Social media platforms with the most crypto scams, according to victim reports, were Instagram (32%), Facebook (26%), Whatsapp (9%), and Telegram (7%).
Additionally, of all the crypto scams emanating from social media since 2021, $ 575 million was lost to Investment scams, while $ 185 million to romance scams.
Finally, people between the ages of 20 to 49 were likely to have reported losing cryptocurrency to a scammer, while those in their 30s have been hit the hardest. However, the detailed report that median losses increased with age, peaking at $ 11,708 for people in their 70s.
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