Pandemic sparks wave of cryptocurrency crime in Australia

Wed 08 Dec 2021 ▪ 7h17 ▪ 3 min read — by Rudy Bauer

The latest report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission revealed that criminals stole about $109 million (~£82 million) in digital assets from residents between January and November 2021. During the pandemic, the number of cryptocurrency-related crimes increased by 172%.

Cryptocurrency crime in Australia up 172%

In August this year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) warned of an increase in cryptocurrency-related fraud. At that point, losses from illegal transactions involving digital assets amounted to $25.7 million (~£19.4 million). That’s 44% more than the entire year 2020, when investors lost about $17.8 million (~£13.4 million).

According to Business Insider Australia, the ACCC’s latest report states that between January and November this year, cryptocurrency crime increased by 172%. In total, Australians lost about $109 million.

Chris Goldsmid, head of the Australian Federal Police’s cybercrime unit, said attackers were taking advantage of the pandemic crisis.

Major risk for investors

About 2.5 million Australians have started investing for the first time this year. And many have chosen Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets. It is these newcomers who are most likely to be hooked by criminals who set up fake crypto-exchange sites, cheat users during transactions or lure funds illegally.

The ACCC said that there are many more cases of fraud than have been reported. Many victims fear publicity or feel too upset to report what has happened to them.

Chris Goldsmid revealed that his department is working closely with colleagues in other countries to help track down illegal transactions. He urged defrauded investors to file a claim immediately through the government’s Report Cyber website so that the case can be investigated by the police.

Recently, news of cryptocurrency theft or illegal acquisition has been on the rise. Hopefully, crypto exchanges will improve their security systems and law enforcement will enhance their methods of tracking illegal transactions, and soon there will be significantly less crime of this kind.

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Rudy Bauer

Photographe, Vidéaste, webdesigner et enfin rédacteur pour CoinTribune: l'image, le digital et la blockchain sont mon dada.

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The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.

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