The 2022 Internet Crime Report published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last week, noted that the report is compiled using data from the agency’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) which “serves as a public resource to submit reports of cyberattacks and incidents,” the bureau described.
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“In 2022, investment scams were the costliest scheme reported to the IC3. Investment fraud complaints increased from $1.45 billion in 2021 to $3.31 billion in 2022, which is a 127% [increase],” the FBI wrote, adding:
Within those complaints, cryptocurrency investment fraud rose from $907 million in 2021 to $2.57 billion in 2022, an increase of 183%.
“Crypto-investment scams saw unprecedented increases in the number of victims and the dollar losses to these investors. Many victims have assumed massive debt to cover losses from these fraudulent investments and the most targeted age group reporting this type of scam are victims ages 30 to 49,” the report details.
The FBI also highlighted prevalent cryptocurrency investment scams in 2022, such as those related to liquidity mining, hacked social media accounts, celebrity impersonation, real estate professionals, and employment.
Following the release of its latest Internet Crime Report, the FBI issued a public service announcement Monday, warning the public of “a spike in cryptocurrency investment schemes.”
Citing data from IC3, the bureau explained: “Criminals, typically based overseas, defrauded victims of more than two billion U.S. dollars in 2022 using these schemes.” The announcement notes:
The schemes are socially-engineered and trust-enabled, usually beginning with a romance or confidence scam and evolving into cryptocurrency investment fraud.