The number of cryptocurrency-related crimes in the United Kingdom has significantly surged in the first nine months of 2021 comparing to last year, reads a recent report. The local police warned that bad actors often use a fake celebrity endorsement to lure people in.
Youngsters Are The Most in Danger
According to a recent Bloomberg coverage, there have been 7,118 reports of schemes related to digital assets in the UK between January and October this year. Victims parted out with nearly $200 million for that period, which is 30% more than the whole of 2020.
The authorities pointed out that over 50% of the duped people were between 18 and 45 years old. Investing in bitcoin and the altcoins is highly popular among the youngest locals as nearly half of those under 30 years old choose the crypto market as their first investment option. As such, it’s somewhat expected that they have become a target for fraudsters.
The City of London Police also informed that the most common tactic of the criminals is to lure people into fake celebrity endorsements, as 79% of all the cases were of that type. Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish commented:
“Reports of cryptocurrency fraud have increased significantly over the past few years. Being online more means criminals have a greater opportunity to approach unsuspecting victims with fraudulent investment opportunities.”
Speaking of such schemes, it is worth noting that last year Steve Wozniak filed a lawsuit against YouTube. According to him, the platform did not take necessary actions to prevent fake Bitcoin giveaways with his face on them. A year later, though, he lost the case as his arguments were not strong enough to bring him a court victory.
The UK – Paradise for Crypto Scammers
The United Kingdom classifies as a “paradise” for the local criminals when talking about crypto-related frauds. At least, that is what David Lindberg – Chief Executive of retail banking at NatWest – opined recently.
He said he had “never seen a market worse” than the UK for scams. To solve the issue, the British government, the police, banks, and social media operators should join their forces:
“Fraud and scams are an industry. They’re intelligent, and they move fast, and it’s heartbreaking to see how they try to destroy lives.”
The top banker also warned that some of the bad actors create websites where people can invest in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, However, they are fake in reality and the money goes to the fraudsters’ pockets.
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