Cryptocurrencies have soared in popularity over the past year, fuelled by celebrity endorsements and eager investors. Unfortunately, the scammers have noticed. 

Cryptocurrency scams in the UK have more than doubled over the past year. There were a record 720 identified in January alone, equivalent to about 23 a day, according to Action Fraud, a British reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime.

This is likely just the tip of the iceberg. Between October 2020 and May 2021, the number of bogus investment opportunities grew 12 times over, with almost 1,000% more in reported losses than in the same period one year earlier, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says.

Worse still, a Bank for International Settlements report in 2018 found that a quarter of all initial coin offerings (ICO) could be fraudulent, based on data gleaned from newspapers, white papers and if its website was discontinued after the ICO. So prevalent has the problem…

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