Cryptocurrency Scams

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15th April, 2021.

Cryptocurrency scams are now a popular way for scammers to trick people into sending money. And they pop up in many ways.

Most crypto scams can appear as emails trying to blackmail someone, online chain referral schemes (which may appear to be from a friend), or bogus investment and business opportunities.

Offenders are difficult to catch and money lost on bitcoin scams can be difficult to recover, especially when offenders operate outside of Australia and all contact has been online.

There has been an increase in romance scams where people meet online and form a romantic connection. A scammer then directs someone to an investment opportunity in bitcoin or crypto assets, or forex trading.

Examples of how crypto scams can work

  • Investors who have been scammed are typically called or emailed by scammers with an investment opportunity, or approached by their friend, family member, or online romantic partner who tell them how they have made money online and suggests that they try it too.
  • Investors typically sign up to ‘crypto-asset trading’ online and deposit funds into a trading account, either via a crypto wallet or bank account.
  • Scammers encourage consumers to deposit more funds into the account.
  • When an investor logs into their account, it may look as though they are making profits initially (due to fake data), but eventually shows ‘trading losses’ even though no actual trading is taking place.
  • When the consumer asks to withdraw their funds, bitcoin scammers either cease all contact, or demand further payment before funds can be released.
  • Often scammers are also seeking to mine personal information from victims to engage in identity fraud.

What to do if you think you, or someone you know, has been scammed:

  • Stop sending money, even if it’s to ‘withdraw funds’ – if the entity asks this it’s likely you’re being scammed.
  • Report it to your bank or financial institution immediately.


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