In an August, 10 announcement, UK police warn members of the public against falling prey to fraudulent cryptocurrency investment schemes. The latest crime statistics show that in June and July alone, victims were defrauded of more than $2.5 million. The national cyber crime and fraud reporting center for the UK, Action Fraud, warns it received 203 reports of cryptocurrency fraud so far this summer. Victims reportedly lost a total of $2,629,766.90, or an average of $12,891.01 per person. The scammers reportedly advertise on social media platforms and use cold calls to reach out to potential victims promising "get rich quick" investments in trading or mining cryptocurrency. The victims are directed to fake cryptocurrency investment websites where they enter in personal information like credit card numbers, dates of birth and driver's license numbers to open trading accounts.
The victims then make minimum initial deposits to open these trading accounts. Sometimes the con artists will contact the victims again asking for an additional deposit to invest in an even greater opportunity. By the time the victims realize they've been scammed, the websites have been deactivated and the scammers cannot be contacted. The fraudsters often use professional-looking websites, advertisements and social media accounts to lure their victims. These fake websites often falsely use the names and logos of well-known companies or individuals to appear more convincing. The Financial Conduct Authority, a UK financial monitoring organization, reported just this week about two such fraudulent cryptocurrency-related organizations falsely claiming to have both FCA authorization and affiliation with well-known institutions. One firm called itself Fair Oaks Crypto and untruthfully claimed to represent well-known asset management firm Fair Oaks Capital Limited. Another firm called Good Crypto spuriously claimed usage of Arup Corporate Finance's FCA authorization. As investment in cryptocurrency rises, scams involving cryptocurrency also rise. In response, the City of London Police: Economic Crime Academy is offering courses to both police and members of the public to help identify and respond to potential cryptocurrency fraud.