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FBI: Crypto Investment Fraud Surged 53% in 2023, Topping $3.94 Billion

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has reported a surge in losses due to cryptocurrency-related investment scams.

According to a recent report by the FBI, investment losses related to cryptocurrencies rose from $2.57 billion in 2022 to approximately $3.94 billion in 2023, representing a staggering 53% increase.

These losses accounted for the largest portion of investment fraud within the country, making up around 86% of the total investment fraud losses, which amounted to $4.57 billion for the year.

The FBI highlighted the alarming trend of victims falling prey to crypto scams, enticed by the promise of substantial returns on their investments.

“These scams are designed to entice those targeted with the promise of lucrative returns on their investments,” emphasized the FBI.

Romance Scams Continue to Take Victims

One of the most prevalent types of crypto scams victimizing individuals is romance scams.

In this scheme, criminals adopt fake online identities and establish trust with victims before convincing them to send cryptocurrencies, only to vanish thereafter.

Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis firm, reported that romance scams alone were responsible for at least $374 million in suspected stolen crypto in 2023.

Phishing scams also posed a significant threat to crypto users, with over 324,000 individuals falling victim to such scams in 2023, resulting in the loss of approximately $295 million in digital assets.

These scams typically involve deceiving users into revealing their wallet credentials, allowing scammers to drain their funds.

It’s important to note that the rise in crypto scam victims is not limited to the United States alone.

Countries around the world are grappling with similar issues.

In April 2023, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission revealed that Australians had lost 221.3 million Australian dollars ($146.9 million) to investment scams involving crypto as the payment method in 2022, reflecting a staggering 162.4% increase compared to 2021.

The surge in crypto investment fraud highlights the need for greater awareness and caution among investors and crypto enthusiasts.

Exploits Remain Rampant in Web3

Last month, the token for the layer-1 blockchain Shido plunged 85% after the project’s Ethereum-based staking contract fell victim to an exploit.

The exploit targeting Shido came just one day after Serenity Shield project, a multi-chain data storage startup, fell victim to a theft that compromised its MetaMask wallet.

The hack, which took place on one of Serenity’s wallets on BSC, allowed perpetrators stole around 6.9 million native SERSH tokens worth $5.6 million at the time of hack.

The exploit took a toll on the price of the native token, dragging SERSH from $0.565 to $0.009, a nearly 99% plunge.

As reported, bad actors have stolen $38.9 million from various Web3 projects in the first month of 2024.

One of the first major crypto hacks of the year occurred when Radiant Capital experienced a $4.5 million loss due to an empty market exploit.

Gamma Strategies, another affected platform, fell victim to a flash loan attack on January 4, shortly after the Radiant Capital incident.

The attack exploited a code bug, enabling the hackers to siphon $6.1 million from Gamma’s public-facing vaults.

The post FBI: Crypto Investment Fraud Surged 53% in 2023, Topping $3.94 Billion appeared first on Cryptonews.

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