The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that more than 46,000 people have reported losing over $1 billion in cryptocurrency to fraud since the beginning of last year.

According to the FTC, scammers have stolen over $1 billion worth of crypto

The US Federal Trade Commission released a “Data Spotlight” report on crypto scams on Friday. The FTC is the only federal agency in the country with responsibility for both consumer protection and competition law across much of the economy, the regulator’s website describes.

Emma Fletcher, senior data researcher at the FTC, wrote:

Since the beginning of 2021, more than 46,000 people have reported losing over $1 billion in crypto to fraud — about one in four dollars reported lost, more than any other payment method.

Notably, $680 million in cryptocurrency fraud losses were reported in 2021. In the first quarter of this year, losses due to crypto fraud amounted to $329 million.

The researcher added that the average individually reported loss is $2,600, noting:

The top cryptocurrencies that people said scammers paid for were Bitcoin (70%), Tether (10%), and Ether (9%).

The regulator went on to explain that nearly half of people who reported losing crypto to a scam since 2021 said it started with “an ad, post, or message on a social media platform.” The top platforms reported by investors were Instagram (32%), Facebook (26%), Whatsapp (9%) and Telegram (7%).

US regulator: Investors claim to have lost over $1 billion in crypto to fraud since 2021
Top scam through reported crypto losses. Source: FTC

Additionally, most ($575 million) of the reported crypto scam losses that started on social media are investment scams, the FTC said. Romance scams came in second, with reported $185 million in cryptocurrency losses since 2021

People aged 20 to 49 were more likely to report losing cryptocurrency to a scammer, with those in their 30s hit hardest, the regulator found. However, the median of losses reported by individuals increased with age, peaking at $11,708 for people in their 70s.

Have you been scammed about cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comment section below.

Kevin Helms

As an Austrian economics student, Kevin discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects and the interface between economics and cryptography.

photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, WikiCommons

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