ASIC warns against rising crypto scams in Australia amid COVID-19

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has warned against the increasing rate of frauds, particularly crypto scams in Australia. The regulator noted that these fraudulent activities has been surging in the country, following the outbreak of the coronavirus few months ago. 

Crypto scams in Australia surge amid coronavirus pandemic

In a report on Wednesday, Australia’s corporate regulator indicated that scammers took advantage of these difficult times amid COVID-19. This resulted in a sharp increase in investment scams, especially crypto scams in Australia. Within the third and fifth months of this year, investment scams in the country rose by 20 percent, compared to 2019.

ASIC’s concern about the increasing fraudulent activities is mostly directed towards crypto scams in Australia. The regulator mentioned in the report that recorded more scam reports on crypto-assets, investments, including from romance websites. 

ASIC shows more concern about fake crypto investments

Having blamed the current health crisis as the major cause of the investments and crypto scams in Australia, the regulator said the attackers remodified their strategy to scam unsuspecting Australians. According to Warren Day, an executive at ASIC, the scammers employed age-old strategies for their illicit activity, however in a more sophisticated way.

Warren added:

ASIC is particularly concerned about the risk to consumers and investors losing money when buying into fake crypto-assets. Most crypto-asset investment opportunities reported to ASIC appear to be outright scams and there is no actual underlying investment.

Although it is difficult to recover lost funds, especially if the perpetrators are outside the country, the regulator gave out helpful tips to spot fake investment businesses. In addition to explaining the different forms of finance-related scams, ASIC encouraged the public to reports case on scams.

About the author