Crypto trading fraud has become big news in Australia in recent times, but the brevity of the situation is only just coming to light. The economic and financial website, Investopedia, has run an article on how crypto frauds are now ranked as the second highest investment scam category in Australia.
As a few crypto trading fraud issues have come to light across Australia, a consumer service called Scamwatch, is starting to uncover the full details of the problems facing potential Aussie crypto investors.
Crypto trading fraud on the agenda
Scamwatch is a customer service that is operated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which detailed on their website that, “Cryptocurrency trading fraud has grown significantly in the past 12 months and is now the second most common type of investment scam offer pushed on victims.”
Delia Rickard from the ACCC also went on to mention that crypto scamming is not much different to other investment fraud and scams doing the rounds, by stating, “The scammer will claim to have inside knowledge about price movements they will use to make you a fortune. If you invest, your money will quickly disappear.”
The commission said that over AUD 26 million had been lost in crypto trading fraud this year alone in Australia. With this figure in mind, the projected total of crypto scams in 2018 is expected to reach over AUD 100 million.
The increasing popularity of crypto in the Australian mainstream has seen a massive upsurge in usage, which has also seen the rapid increase in scam initial coin offering (ICO) projects across the nation. This is the avenue that cyber fraudsters are now taking and the most common vehicle for crypto trading fraud in the country. According to reports in recent weeks, 80% of ICOs are scams, but no-one knows the true figures at this moment.
Australia moving to regulate crypto more?
In the wake of the news and the surge in fraudulent ICOs in Australia in recent months, the local authorities have rapidly moved to evaluate the issues blighting the industry and are quick to implement regulations, as always.
At the back-end of 2017, Australia already made a move to implement tougher restrictions on ICOs by launching guidelines. The AUSTRAC established regulations detailed that all crypto exchanges were to register or be outside the law. Exchanges also had to adhere to AML / CTF (Anti-Money Laundering / Counter-Terrorism Financing) to be fully compliant.
If you are an Aussie who wants to avoid the crypto trading fraud scams, you are encouraged to use one of the three crypto exchanges that are certified by the government and AUSTRAC.
Although investing in an ICO in any country takes a certain amount of ‘risk’ and speculation, it is important that we exert common sense when choosing which ICOs suit our needs and budget. It is important that governments take note of crypto trading fraud and try and safeguard investors, but sometimes we also need to take responsibility for our actions and investment choices.
I am very experienced writer/blogger who has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community for several years. I have experience writing for crypto news sites and proactively been involved in the startup of other ICO and crypto ventures over the course of the past four years.