The UK Crown Attorney’s Office expects an increase in Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency scams in the coming years, but admits they are still quite rare at the moment.
The CPS estimates that 86% of reported fraud cases are currently connected to the Internet – a situation that was exacerbated last year by the COVID-19 outbreak, which attracted more people to the Internet, according to reports from the Financial Times.
London City Police statistics show that there were 27,187 cybercrime reports in the UK and Northern Ireland between 2019 and 2020. Of this number, 5,581 included reports related to cryptocurrency investments, accounting for a fifth of all criminal incidents. Reported electronically.
The number of public scams during the same period was 822,276, indicating that despite the rapid growth in the fortunes of bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency market, it was not easy for potential scammers to reach them. Only 0.6% of all cryptocurrency fraud cases are related to cybercrime in general.
However, Bitcoin’s rise in 2020 did not go unnoticed by everyone. Cryptocurrency fraud increased 57% in the year to December 2020, when Bitcoin’s value quadrupled.
CPS Director of Public Prosecutions, QC Max Hill, said promises of high return on investment were a common maneuver used by scammers and he expects the number of cryptocurrency cases to increase. Regarding the emergence of cryptocurrency scams, Hill said:
“Although high yield schemes have been around for several decades, I think we will see them grow. Currently, the number of incoming cases is small, but my expectations will increase. ”
Statistics show that almost half of all cases of fraud are related to checks, plastic cards and bank accounts. According to the London City Police, the main threats in 2021 are romance:
“The biggest threats for 2020/21 are bidding, romance, payment transfers, investments, service software, and card and online bank account scams.”
A new economic crime court will open in London in 2026, which will deal with fraud, economic crime and cybercrime in one location.