HSBC issues warning as growing scam costs victims up to £36,000 | Personal finance | Finance
According to NordVPN, crypto criminals have seen their profits nearly double in the past year to £226 million between them. Fraudsters are taking advantage of the growing cryptocurrency craze, asking people to transfer money and offering fake investments.
In 2022, these criminals have already taken £118m from vulnerable victims, pocketing an average of £36,250 per fraud.
Marijus Briedis, CTO and digital privacy expert at NordVPN, commented on the increase in cryptocurrency fraud.
He said, “With inflation soaring and traditional savings rates failing to keep up, fake crypto investment plans offering the prospect of high returns are the perfect bait for scammers.
“These frauds are thriving, despite the huge crash in Bitcoin and other currencies.
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“Worryingly, the sharp increase in amounts stolen by fraud shows that scammers are getting better at defrauding their victims.”
To help prevent people from falling victim to these scams, HSBC has published advice on what to look for before investing in cryptocurrency.
Before making an investment, people should always research the company and check that it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
On their website, they explain that to stay safe, Britons must stay in control.
DO NOT MISS
“Scammers know that payments for investments can attract more attention and will try to avoid it.
” Do not fall into the trap. Fraudsters will use fake mentions.
“Fraudsters may impersonate famous people on social media or messaging groups, to make their offer appear legitimate.”
People shouldn’t feel pressured – by anyone they send money to.
High-value cases even give a short-term return, to convince people to invest more. Then, after sending larger payments, the victim suffers even greater losses.
Cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the FCA, which means that criminals have almost free rein to commit fraud with fake investments.
Scammers will send emails encouraging investors to click on a link or download an app that gives victims access to an exciting new fund.
However, by clicking on this link or downloading an application, all personal information on the device can be stolen, used to extract money or sold to the highest bidder on the dark web.
Britons are urged to “always be wary” of all things money.
People should never trust any random link or new cryptocurrency without doing their homework, even if it looks official.