FTC: Crypto scam victims in US lose more than US$1b since 2021

The craze for cryptocurrencies was at a fever pitch last year with bitcoin hitting a record high of US$69,000 in November. — Reuters pic

More than 46,000 people reported losing over US$1 billion (RM4.4 billion) in cryptocurrency scams since the start of 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said in a report yesterday.

Nearly half the people who reported losing digital currencies in a scam said it started with an ad, post or a message on a social media platform, according to the FTC.

The craze for cryptocurrencies was at a fever pitch last year with bitcoin hitting a record high of US$69,000 in November.

Reports point to social media and crypto as a combustible combination for fraud, the agency said, adding that about US$575 million of all losses related to digital currency frauds were about “bogus investment opportunities”.

Nearly four out of every ten dollars lost in a fraud originating on social media was lost in crypto, far more than any other payment method, with Instagram, Facebook