Police urge Tasmanians to be aware of cryptocurrency scams
Police are reminding Tasmanians to be vigilant when investing money after roughly $6 million was lost to cryptocurrency scams.
Since January 1, police have received 133 reports statewide, with individual losses ranging from $20,000 to more than $2 million.
Detective Sergeant Paul Turner from Tasmania Police’s Cyber Crime Unit said criminals targeted victims through dating apps, social media platforms, professional networking sites, and encrypted messaging apps.
“Criminals use fake identities to develop relationships with their victims,” he said.
“Once they have gained trust, criminals claim to be experts in cryptocurrency.
“They then convince their victims to use fraudulent websites or apps, which are controlled by the criminals, to invest in cryptocurrency. They coach them through the investment process, show them fake profits, and encourage them to invest more.
“However, when victims attempt to withdraw their money, they are told they need to pay a fee or taxes, and even when they do pay, they are unable to get their money back.”
Detective Sergeant Turner said victims are being exploited further, through cryptocurrency recovery schemes.
“Victims may be contacted directly on social media, with an offer from a fraudulent business claiming to provide cryptocurrency tracing, and promising to recover the funds they have lost.”
Anyone who thinks they are the victim of a scam can contact www.cyber.gov.au
Further information on scams is available at scamwatch.gov.au
Tips to protect yourself from investment scams:
• Be wary of advertisements for cryptocurrency recovery services. Research the advertised company and beware if the company uses vague language, has a minimal online presence, and makes promises regarding an ability to recover funds.
• If an unknown individual contacts you and claims to be able to recover stolen cryptocurrency, do not release any financial or personal identifying information and do not send any money.
• Provide transaction details when reporting cryptocurrency investment fraud to law enforcement. Include information about your interactions with individuals claiming to offer cryptocurrency recovery services.
The post Police urge Tasmanians to be aware of cryptocurrency scams appeared first on Tasmania Police.