Police reports of crimes related to cryptocurrency investments have soared since 2018.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the police said 393 reports of cheating, fraud or other crimes related to investments in cryptocurrencies were made last year.

That number was more than three times that in 2019, when 125 reports were made, and a massive jump from the 15 reports in 2018.

Around $29 million was lost in such cases between 2018 and 2020.

The director of the non-profit Centre for Strategic Cyberspace and International Studies, Mr Anthony Lim, told ST that cryptocurrencies are popular for use in illicit practices because they are mostly unregulated by governments.

He said: “These scammers and perpetrators play on a potential victim’s greed or need for cash or inability to resist making a quick buck, despite it seeming too good to be true, and impatience to gain the goodies.

“Many of those who fall victim are not vigilant and don’t do due…

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