ASIC says these are highly speculative investments. While there are some genuine businesses using this structure, many turn out to be scams.

The ACCC’s Rickard describes the big growth in crypto scams as “scary.” “Investment scams are ramping up and cryptocurrency is a big part [of that],” she says.

“Most people don’t understand cryptocurrency; they just hear the buzz around it… and they need to do their research,” Rickard says.

The chances of getting your money back after a crypto scam is “pretty much zero”, she says.

Rickard says one of the warning signs of a crypto scam is if the only option you are given is to pay with digital currency.

The scams can also sometimes include the exchanges that facilitate the buying and selling of crypto assets.

There have been some instances where crypto exchanges have suddenly stopped trading, cannot be contacted and investors have lost their money.

Exchanges are not regulated by ASIC, though a Senate…

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