Over $7.7 billion was stolen in cryptocurrency scams worldwide in 2021, according to a new report. An 81% rise compared to 2020.
The total number of scam reports to law enforcement authorities across the globe is now more than five times higher than in 2019, Chainalysis says.
The firm’s data shows that many of the reported cases in 2021 involved fraudsters posing as cryptocurrency exchange staff, while others targeted cryptocurrency investors who may have been lured into believing they were buying genuine digital assets.
“We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the number of reports to law enforcement authorities,” said Chainalysis’ director of blockchain research.
“The vast majority of these reports stem from investment scams. For example, scammers are targeting crypto investors by impersonating cryptocurrency exchanges, offering special deals or discounts.
“Many people are lured by these offers and are subsequently scammed.”
Traidman explained that in the early days of cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency exchanges often relied on social media to attract new investors. But this has changed now that many cryptocurrency exchanges have their own websites.
“This has also led to a rise in impersonation scams,” Traidman said.