- Reports of cryptocurrency scams more than doubled in January
- Authorities may not have the resources to keep up with the sheer number of fraudulent bitcoin promotions that have proliferated across social media
Cryptocurrency scams have soared in recent months, new figures reveal, as victims report losing millions every week to criminals seeking to capitalise on the bitcoin craze.
As the value of bitcoin rallies, the findings have prompted warnings that the get-rich-quick frenzy is leaving new investors vulnerable to scammers, potentially overwhelming authorities with far more cases than they can deal with.
Data obtained from Action Fraud, the national fraud-reporting service, show that in the 12 months to December, reports of scams relating to cryptocurrency investments surged 57 per cent year-on-year, to 5,581. In January, as bitcoin continued its ascent to record highs, the number of reports more than doubled compared to the same month in 2020, to reach 720 – equivalent to about 23 every day.
In total, victims said they lost £113m last year to cold…