ASIC warns of rise in cryptocurrency scams

Maria Nikolova

Reports of misconduct received by the regulator from March to May 2020 are up 20% compared to the same period last year.

An increased number of Australians have reported crypto-asset scams to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), the regulator says. Most crypto ‘investment opportunities’ reported to ASIC appear to be outright scams.

Reports of misconduct received by ASIC from March to May 2020 are up 20% compared to the same period last year.

ASIC has also observed an increase in romance scams where people meet online and form a romantic connection. A scammer then directs someone to an investment opportunity in crypto-assets or forex trading.

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. Then 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, the 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.

According to the latest data provided by Scamwatch, Australian reported losses of $3.98 million due to investment scams in May 2020. Since the start of the year, the amount of such losses has reached $24.6 million. Those over 65 years of age reported the biggest losses, whereas the highest number of reports was submitted by those from 35 to 44 years of age.

Read this next

Opinion

The FX Algo Wheel, is it wheels up and ready to take flight?

by David Catterick, Sales Director, BidFX Australia

Retail FX

eToro users now can trade underlying Italian stocks

Israeli social trading and multi-asset brokerage company eToro has expanded its service offering and trading products by incorporating new markets, namely Italian stocks listed at underlying exchanges.

Digital Assets

BlackRock bets on crypto bank Silvergate despite drastic fall

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has increased its stake in Silvergate Bank, a crypto-friendly lender that counts major crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken as clients.

Opinion

A viewpoint from Anatoly Crachilov, CEO and Founding Partner at Nickel Digital, on SEC regulation of the digital asset sector

The SEC’s latest episode comes across as more of a PR performance rather than an act of investor protection.

Digital Assets

Tether denies receiving any loans from Celsius, the opposite is true

World’s largest stablecoin issuer, Tether dismissed reports suggesting that it received a $2 billion loan from the bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Celsius.

Institutional FX

Cboe FX volume makes strong rebound in January

Cboe’s institutional spot FX platform today announced its trading volume for the month ending January 2023, which marks a mild rebound after a steep fall in December.

Uncategorized

XS.com appoints Exness alumni Mohamad Ibrahim as CEO

XS.com, the multi-regulated financial services provider, has appointed Mohamad Ibrahim as the group’s newest chief executive officer (CEO).

Technology

B2Broker Integrates Match-Trader Solution to Expands Its White Label Liquidity Offering

A global provider of technology and liquidity for the FX and cryptocurrency markets, B2Broker recently announced the extension of its white label liquidity offering by merging with Match-Trader.

Digital Assets

UK launches open consultation to regulate crypto exchanges, custody, and lending

The government’s proposed measures have been informed by recent market events – including the failure of FTX – which reinforce the case for effective regulation and sector engagement.

<