Australian investors lost over 70 million Australian dollars ($50.5 million) to investment scams in the first six months of 2021, a scamwatch data from the University Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has shown.
According to the data, more than 50 percent of the scams were directly from crypto scams.
Speaking after the release of the report, Delia Rickard, the organization’s Deputy Chair, noted that complaints related to cryptocurrency scams were mainly attributed to Bitcoin (BTC), a discovery that has moved Bitcoin-related investment scams above $18.5 million.
The Deputy Chair also noted that scammers lure investors into using fake trading platforms and celebrity endorsements that promise high profitability.
She explained that even though the trading platforms initially allow investors to withdraw some profits using other victims assets, the scammer eventually stops unwary investors to withdraw their investments.
Richard warned investors to be wary of investment opportunities with low risk and high returns. “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” she noted.
Aside Bitcoin-related investment scams, other types of scams have plagued investors in Australia. They range from Ponzi and imposter bond scams to romance baiting scams.
This wide range list of investment scam moved the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to issue a warning about unlicensed crypto businesses on Aug. 18.
In the warning, the Australian regulator asked citizens to stop investing in cryptocurrency through unlicensed entities.
The regulator has advised investors to choose financial institutions that hold an Australian Financial Services license. As per the reports received from investors, the ASIC noted that most of the losses related to crypto investments were due to excessive leverage, platform outages, or unfair liquidations.