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Cryptocurrency

Crypto Scammers Stole $7.7 Billion Worth of Cryptocurrency in 2021

Crypto Scammers Stole $7.7 Billion Worth of Cryptocurrency in 2021

  • Crypto scammers stole 7.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency from victims in 2021, according to research by Chainalysis
  • This value is 81% more than the amount that was lost in crypto-related scams in 2020
  • About $1.1 billion of the total losses was in a single scam which targeted Russia and Ukraine earlier this year

Crypto scammers and cybercriminals stole a whopping $7.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency from victims worldwide in 2021.

The lost amount marks an 81% increase in losses compared to 2021, according to blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis.

The report also revealed that $1.1 billion of the $7.7 billion total was lost in a single cryptocurrency scam that targeted Russia and Ukraine.

Despite the sharp rise in funds lost, the number of deposits to scam addresses fell from 10.7 million in 2020 to 4.1 million.

This indicates that there were fewer individual scams but some of the victims suffered heavy losses.

One of the major reasons for great losses in crypto this year was “rug pulls”, a type of scam where developers of a cryptocurrency escape with supporters’ funds.

Chainalysis reported that rug pulls accounted for 37% ($2.8 billion)of revenue lost to crypto in 2021, up 1% from 2020.

Crypto scammer

The characteristics of the investment scam networks are changing, however.

The Chainalysis research revealed that the number of active financial scams rose to 3,300 this year from 2,052 in 2020.

Read also: Electrician Loses $100,000 in Investment Fraud

The individual life span of each scam however has decreased from over 500 days in 2016 to 291 days in 2020 and just 70 days in 2021.

This indicates that crypto scammers are unable to operate for longer probably as a result of pressure to close up shop before drawing the attention of regulators.

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