The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued a new warning to consumers during Scams Awareness Week.
The warning has to do with how consumers can spot cryptocurrency scams, the regulator explained.
There are generally three categories that consumers need to be mindful of, including fake cryptocurrency tokens, scams where consumers are misled to believe that they are investing in genuine assets and scams that demand payment in cryptocurrencies.
According to ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court, Australians have already lost more than $701m to such scams in 2021. The numbers have been increasingly steadily.
Cryptocurrency investment scams were among the biggest generators of losses for Australians, and they have soared by 270%. ASIC also provided a list of ten signs that indicate when a crypto scam is afoot.
Those warnings included “offers out of the blue”, “celebrity advertisements that are fake”, “guaranteed returns”, “no way to release your funds”, “denied cashouts”, and more.
The thing to do is to not get to the point where consumers realize they have been scammed after the fact.
Most scams do use the language of “guaranteed ROI”, but so do many mainstream companies that are in trouble now.
Even FTX is struggling to keep afloat, even though it was believed to be one of the most robust representatives of the industry.
Court also offered advice on how to make sure that consumers steer clear from such crypto scams: “If you think you’ve been the victim of a crypto scam, it’s important to act quickly. Draw a line under it. Don’t send any more money. Block all contact from the scammer. Do not delay. Contact your bank or financial institution immediately to report the scam.”
Scammers continue to target Australians as some of the most lucrative targets, not least because the country is less risk averse. Other nations have been similarly targeted though.
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