Scams related to cryptocurrency jumped from the seventh riskiest scam in 2020 to second riskiest in 2021, according to the 2021 Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker Risk Report, released recently. This report analyzes scams reported to BBB throughout the year, and synthesizes the data to detail the riskiest scams.
Although cryptocurrency scams made up only 1.9% of the scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker in 2021, the average reported median dollar loss reported for these scams was $1,200, which is significantly higher than the overall median dollar loss of $169 for all scam types.
A BBB report on cryptocurrency scams is expected to be released Thursday, March 24. The report will focus on digital currencies, the tactics scammers use to take advantage of people, and what consumers can do to protect themselves.
Online purchase scams maintained the top spot as the riskiest; this scam type made up 37.4% of all scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker in 2021, with 74.9% reporting a monetary loss. Employment scams dropped in 2021, from second riskiest to third. The susceptibility and median dollar loss of this scam type dropped slightly, while the number of reported scams increased from 7.1% in 2020 to 7.8% in 2021.
“Scammers shift their tactics constantly and appear to have expanded their use of cryptocurrency to perpetrate fraud,” said Melissa Lanning Trumpower, executive director of the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, which produced the 2021 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report.
“Cryptocurrency scams were riskier in 2021 with 66% of those targeted by this scam type losing money and a reported median dollar loss of $1,200. Scammers are using social media and other means to promise investment opportunities with great returns and low risks, which is a huge red flag. We received many reports of people being targeted on a variety of social media platforms after their friends’ accounts were hacked.”
More than 44% reported losing confidence or peace of mind because of the emotional impact of being targeted by a scam and about 35% reported losing personal information. About the same percentage of people (55.5%) reported losing time as reported losing money after being targeted by a scam.
“Time is money, and our survey results reflected this,” Trumpower explained. “We can’t ignore the fact that there are many other non-financial impacts of being targeted by a scam.”
If you have been the target of a scam, your first contact should be the local authorities. Also, feel free to contact us with details (we can keep your name confidential, if you wish).
Send your story to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 507-831-3455. By sharing your story, you could prevent someone from being scammed.
Watch www.windomnews.com for regular weekday updates at 8 a.m./noon/5 p.m., plus BREAKING stories at other times. Follow CoCoCitizen @CitPub on Twitter.