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Cryptocurrency fraud costs $1.56B

Cryptocurrency fraud costs $1.56B

People in the U.S. lost $1.56 billion to cryptocurrency-related scams over the past year.

This is according to cybersecurity solutions provider SurfShark, which drew on data from the Federal Trade Commission. The estimated amount is higher than the entire GDP of Grenada and various other nation states or a group of four F-22 Raptors.

Nationwide, fraud losses were estimated to reach over $10 billion, meaning cryptocurrency fraud accounted for 15% of all fraud losses nationwide last year. These schemes are estimated to have affected 55,000 people. The average loss per victim was $28,000 in 2023. This positions cryptocurrency as the second-highest payment type in terms of monetary losses, following bank transfers.

The data includes cases in which the payment method was crypto, but the scams themselves were not necessarily crypto-related. Over half of all fraud losses in cryptocurrency in 2023 stemmed from miscellaneous investments and investment advice fraud, amounting to $829 million in total losses, or a $34,000 loss per victim. This was followed by romance scams and business imposter scams, resulting in losses of $179 million and $140 million, respectively.

Surfshark noted that there has been a marked uptick in cryptocurrency-related scams over the past few years. In contrast, losses last year were double those experienced in 2021, when the average loss per victim was the much lower, but still material sum of $18,000. However, there might be some silver lining, as the overall increase showed minimal deviation from the figures in 2022.

Overall, it seems losses are plateauing. However, even if this trend of stalled growth continues into 2024, the scope of cryptocurrency losses positions it as a significant threat for the year, warranting caution for all current and future crypto holders.

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