Cryptocurrency fraud grew by 32% in the United Kingdom over the preceding year, as part of a larger fraud “epidemic” that began during the pandemic as people transferred their financial transactions online.
The Financial Times reported on Monday (November 28) based on information received through a freedom of information request to the British police unit Action Fraud.
From October 2021 to September 2021, losses involving cryptocurrency reported to this unit totaled 226 million pounds (or $272 million), a 32% increase from October 2020 to September 2021. The total number of frauds reported increased by 16% to 10,030.
According to the FT article, the findings are part of a bigger wave of fraud that grew during the pandemic, with fraud in general expected to rise 8% to 1.3 billion pounds ($1.5 billion) in 2021.
Capital Block performed its own Freedom of Information (FOI) request and revealed that the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority received 7,287 allegations of crypto asset frauds between July of last year and June of this year, a 45% rise over the same time in 2020 and 2021.
These numbers are comparable with recent findings from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the United States, which revealed earlier this month that fraud and scam charges account for 40% of bitcoin complaints.
“Our examination of consumer complaints indicates that criminal actors are utilizing crypto-assets to commit fraud on the public,” stated CFPB Director Rohit Chopra earlier this month.
“When it comes to crypto-assets, Americans are also experiencing transaction issues, blocked accounts, and lost funds.” People should be aware of anyone who requests an upfront payment in crypto-assets, since this might be a hoax.”