The rate of cryptocurrency fraud in the United Kingdom has been on the rise, with victims losing over £146 million ($200m) over the last nine months, Bloomberg reported Monday. 

Crypto Fraud in the UK

According to an emailed statement from the City of London Police, the country has witnessed a spike in crypto-related crimes since the beginning of the year, with a total of 7,118 cases reported  to the UK’s national reporting center for fraud and cyber crimes. 

The report also stated that there is a 30% increase in the amount of funds lost in 2021 compared to the previous year with most of the victims ranging between the ages of 18 to 45. 

Fraudsters entice their victims by using fake celebrity deals to capture their interests. The police noted that about 79% of complaints in regards to fake endorsements and proposals are crypto-related. 

“Being online more means criminals have a greater opportunity to approach unsuspecting victims with fraudulent investment opportunities,” Craig Mullish, Temporary Detective Chief Inspector commented. 

Still on the growing fraud rate in the UK, the country’s Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) recently reported a drastic increase in crime complaints relating to cryptocurrency in the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year, moving from 3,028 to 5,025 cases. 

Commenting on the increasing rate of crypto scams, Nausicaa Delfas, chief executive and chief ombudsman, said: 

“While cryptocurrencies are unregulated investments, the Ombudsman Service can look into complaints about the banking providers who refuse to reimburse consumers who feel they’ve been a victim of a cryptocurrency fraud or scam,”

More than $400M Lost in Q1

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the crypto space lost a total value of $432 million to hackers and fraudulent schemes in the first quarter of the year. 

According to data gathered by the Blockchain analysis startup, CipherTrace, DeFi-related hacks and frauds DeFi-related hacks and scams accounted for more than half of the total value lost in the crypto space in the first four months of 2021, reaching an all-time high of $240 million.

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