The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Monday that consumers have lost a combined $80 million in scams as they look to invest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Shibu Inu coin.
- The FTC said the losses are a 10-times increase over the same time period in 2020.
- The FTC said it received about 7,000 complaints in the last three months related to scams. The median loss per consumer hovered around $1,900.
- Most of the scams happened among people ages 20 to 49 years old, according to the FTC.
What do the cryptocurrency scams look like?
The FTC said: “Cryptocurrency investment scams can happen in many ways, but they’re all full of fake promises and false guarantees.”
- Some scams are found on websites where it looks like you’ll invest in cryptocurrency but then can’t withdraw your investment.
- Other scams pretend to include fake celebrity giveaways.
Indeed, we’ve seen this play out. Some Dogecoin investors who planned to watch Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” were scammed after fake websites hosted fake streams that included links for people to invest their Dogecoin with the promise of getting double their investment back, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
- “Giveaway scams are not new,” TRM Labs said in its report on the cam. “According to the FBI, mass marketing fraud schemes — like crypto giveaway scams — ‘victimize millions of Americans each year and generate losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.’”
Scam warning signs
To stay safe, the FTC said people should do their research before they invest and be wary of any big guarantees or promises.