U.S. Crypto Investment Fraud Escalated to $3.94B in 2023: 53% Growth, Reports FBI

U.S. Crypto Investment Fraud Escalated to $3.94B in 2023: 53% Growth, Reports FBI

By: Isha Das

According to the recent report released by the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the instances of crypto-related fraud and use of digital currencies in cybercrimes saw an upsurge in 2023. The report uncovered a 53% YoY increase in financial losses caused by crypto investment scams, escalating from $2.57 billion in 2022 to a staggering $3.94 billion in 2023. The scammers were increasingly using the lure of high returns on digital currency investments to attract victims across all age groups.

The report indicated that such scams are growing more sophisticated with the expansion of the digital asset industry. The data highlighted a concentration of complaints from individuals aged between 30 and 60 years. The IC3 report emphasized the necessity for secure verification of payment requests and the use of measures such as two-factor or multi-factor authentications to curb such scams.

The report also revealed a heightened exploitation of cryptocurrency for facilitating swift transfers and dispersal of funds acquired through fraudulent measures such as Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes. The annual complaints related to ransomware attacks increased by 18%, whilst the reported losses increased by 74%, tallying up to $59.6 million in 2023. The FBI's Recovery Asset Team (RAT) responded effectively, securing over $538.39 million of reported losses with a 71% success rate of freezing fraudulent transfers.

The increasing instances of crypto fraud underline the urgency for improved cybersecurity measures, heightened vigilance, and enhanced public awareness. A collaborative effort is inevitable in mitigating the burgeoning threats in the dynamic digital asset landscape.

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