April 18, 2023

Over $148 Mln Lost Due to Investment Scams in Australia

Over $148 Mln Lost Due to Investment Scams in Australia Featured Image

Investment scams made Australians lose $148.3 million when they used cryptocurrencies as a payment method in 2022, a report issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Australian consumer regulator, said.

The Australian Commission pointed out the total number of investment scams using crypto in 2022 reached 3,910 crypto scam incidents, with an increase of 162.4%, compared to 2021, Cointelegraph reported.

The investment scams ($148.3 million) represented 7.1% of the total scams in Australia in 2022, which are worth $2.08 billion.

Commenting on the hike, ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe noted that the increasing number of investment scams using crypto is because of the new technologies which lure and deceive consumers using complicated tactics.

“We have seen alarming new tactics emerge which make scams incredibly difficult to detect. This includes everything from impersonating official phone numbers, email addresses, and websites of legitimate organizations to scam texts that appear in the same conversation thread as genuine messages,” Lowe said.

She asserted the importance that the Australian government, law enforcement, and the private sector should enhance relations to effectively combat scams.

Indeed, the Australian government is expected to introduce new tools to the ACCC to protect consumers from crypto-related scams, which resulted in losses in crypto payments worth $221 million in 2022.

The real-time data-sharing tool will help the ACCC to detect and prevent crypto scams, in addition to boosting consumer protection.

Consumer protection will be enhanced through a framework that will regulate the licensing and custody of digital assets. This framework is scheduled to be launched by mid-2023.

Australia is also the third country globally in terms of the number of crypto ATMs following the United States and Canada.

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