The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has revealed that more than 46,000 people have reported losing more than $1 billion in cryptocurrency fraud since early last year.
FTC Says Scammers Stole Over $1 Billion in Crypto
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission released a “Data Spotlight” report on crypto fraud on Friday; the FTC is the only federal agency in the country with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction over a broad swath of the economy, the regulator’s website states.
Emma Fletcher, a senior data researcher at the FTC, writes
Since the start of 2021, more than 46,000 people have reported losing more than $1 billion to fraud in crypto, about $1 out of every $4 reported, more than any other payment method.
Specifically, $680 million in cryptocurrency fraud losses were reported in 2021. In the first quarter of this year, crypto fraud losses totaled $329 million.
The researchers noted that the median loss reported by individuals was $2,600, adding.
The top cryptocurrencies that people said they used to pay scammers were bitcoin (70%), tether (10%), and ether (9%).
Regulators further explained that since 2021, nearly half of those who reported losing crypto to scams began with “an ad, post, or message on a social media platform.” The top platforms reported by investors were Instagram (32%), Facebook (26%), Whatsapp (9%), and Telegram (7%).
The FTC also noted that the majority ($575 million) of reported crypto fraud losses stemming from social media were investment fraud. Romance scams ranked second, with $185 million in reported cryptocurrency losses since 2021
People aged 20 to 49 were more likely to report losing cryptocurrency to scammers, and those in their 30s were hardest hit, regulators said. However, the median reported loss for individuals increased with age, with the highest at $11,708 for those in their 70s.
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