UK Watchdog Reports $34 Million Lost in Crypto and Forex Scams Last Year

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The primary financial regulator of the United Kingdom, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), reports that crypto investors in the country lost over $34 million due to cryptocurrency and forex scams from 2018–2019 the Financial Times reports on May 20.

According to the data, which the FCA gathered from the U.K. national fraud and cybercrime reporting center, Action Fraud, individual loss due to scams decreased from $76,000 to $18,500 while total losses fell by $14 million.

However, the number of reports more than tripled to reach 1,834, with 81 percent of such reports being crypto scam claims.

Per the report, the FCA is considering a ban on “high-risk derivative products linked to cryptoassets.” For now, FCA executive director Mark Steward cautions:

“Scammers can be very convincing so always do your own research into any firm you are considering investing with, to make sure that they are the real deal.”

The FCA reportedly stated that scammers use social media to find potential investors. The regulator also noted that scams will often use pictures of celebrities with fake endorsements alongside imagery of luxury goods like cars and watches.

Last year, initial coin offering (ICOs) advisory firm Statis Group released a study, which found that over 80 percent of ICOs in 2017 were scams. The associated losses for that year totaled $1.34 billion.

As recently reported by Cointelegraph, new evidence has surfaced suggesting that purported bitcoin (BTC) exchange Goxtrade is a scam. Goxtrade reportedly used the real names and pictures of unaffiliated parties such as blockchain figure Amber Baldet to fill their website staff page and is absent from the U.K.’s registry of companies and businesses.