Even though the price of Bitcoin is nowhere near it’s December 2017 numbers, interest in the crypto industry is still high, for both fans and fraudsters alike.

As a way to circumvent political and economic volatility in countries like South Africa and Venezuela, or simply as a way to “hodl” and grow your investment for the future, virtual currencies seem to be the best way forward for a number of people.

Some countries, like the United Kingdom, are already leading the way in fostering mass adoption for both blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. They even have a specialized task force focused on evaluating the risks and advantages of the industry. In addition, they are training their police force in the intricacies involved in dealing with virtual currencies in their investigations.

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Crypto Fraud Is a Problem

However, the cryptocurrency community in the UK is not without its problems. The Financial Times recently reported that June and July this year saw a total of £2.1 million lost in cryptocurrency scams.

London’s Action Fraud recently released data showing that 203 people lost an average of just over £10,000 over the two months. The director of the organization, which is the police’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting center, Pauline Smith, said:

The statistics show that opportunistic fraudsters are taking advantage of this market, offering investments in cryptocurrencies and using every trick in the book to defraud unsuspecting victims.

It is important to highlight the fact that virtual currencies are not the cause of these crimes, that honor belongs to dodgy fraudsters that think up these scams to get people to part with their hard-earned money.

While the industry has a well-known, and inaccurate, reputation as being the preferred payment for illicit activities, some evidence shows that this is not the case. Yes, you can use Bitcoin to buy drugs but you can also use fiat money, which was the case for all of the years before Satoshi created the first digital currency.

Be Alert and Aware

London’s police department reported that these fraudsters are tempting their victims with promises of easy money which can be made through their crypto trading site, of course. In addition to funds deposited, these thieves steal credit card details and other sensitive information before closing up shop and moving onto the next victim.

This comes in the wake of so-called clone firms popping up in another attempt to swindle people out of their crypto.

Smith doled out some advice to investors:

It’s vital for anyone who invests or is thinking of investing in cryptocurrencies to thoroughly research the company they are choosing to invest with.

Therein lies the key. Investigate the company you’re choosing to entrust your money with before you do so, and remember that cryptocurrencies don’t scam people, people scam people.

Do you think that investors are spending enough time researching the industry? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of ShutterStock

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