As of March 2022 there were more than 9,000 other cryptocurrencies in the marketplace, of which more than 70 had a market capitalization exceeding $1 billion.
First, worth noting: “Because the vast majority of frauds are not reported, these figures reflect just a small fraction of the public harm.”
“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”
“Nearly half the people who reported losing crypto to a scam since 2021 said it started with an ad, post, or message on a social media platform.”
The most common type of crypto fraud was investment scams, followed by romance scams. Third place was business imposters, then government imposters.
The median individual crypto loss was $2,600. Those who lost money to crypto romance scammers lost a median amount of $10,000.
“People ages 20 to 49 were more than three times as likely as older age groups to have reported losing cryptocurrency to a scammer. Reports point to people in their 30s as the hardest hit – 35% of their reported fraud losses since 2021 were in cryptocurrency.”
“But median individual reported losses have tended to increase with age, topping out at $11,708 for people in their 70s.”
Consumers have reported $329 million in crypto fraud only in the first quarter of 2022: already half as much as was lost to crypto fraud in the entire prior year.
younger people—specifically people in their thirties—are the most likely to fall for these kinds of scams.
Americans Have Lost $1 Billion to Crypto Scams Since Last Year, Feds Say
The uptick in scammery is so bad that about one in four dollars stolen via fraud is now being reported stolen using crypto, according to the FTC.
Investing in Web3, the supposedly “transformative” environment of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies, continues to be a revolutionary new way to lose a whole lot of money.
A study from the Federal Trade Commission released Friday shows that Americans have lost over $1 billion to crypto-related scams since January 2021. In raw numbers, that’s over 46,000 people who say they have been ripped off—usually with the promise of a fake “investment opportunity” in some sort of Web3-related nonsense. The median amount of cash that got yanked in each individual case was approximately $2,600, the report says, which collected data on reported losses between January 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022.
In a departure from other cybercrime trends, the FTC notes that younger people—specifically people in their thirties—are the most likely to fall for these kinds of scams. However, older victims have tended to lose more money per incident, with the average individual payout for people in their seventies hovering around $11,708, the report says. The top cryptocurrencies that victims said they used to pay their scammers were Bitcoin, Tether, and Ether.
“Crypto has several features that are attractive to scammers,” the FTC report notes. “There’s no bank or other centralized authority to flag suspicious transactions and attempt to stop fraud before it happens. Crypto transfers can’t be reversed – once the money’s gone, there’s no getting it back. And most people are still unfamiliar with how crypto works.”