As the popularity — and price — of bitcoin, dogecoin and ethereum continue to rise, so too do the online scams associated with those digital currencies. 

Americans have lost more than $80 million in cryptocurrency investment scams since October, a 1,000% increase from the fall of 2019, according to Federal Trade Commission data. People between the ages of 20 and 39 were hit particularly hard, representing about 44% of the reported losses, the FTC said. 

The FTC data, released Monday, showed about 7,000 reports of crypto investment scams received by the agency since last fall, with a median loss of $1,900. The losses are taking place as bitcoin prices surge, celebrities back dogecoin and more Americans try to understand what cryptocurrency is all about.  

“All of this plays right into the hands of scammers,” Emma Fletcher, a program analyst with the FTC, said in an analysis of the data. “They blend into the scene with claims that can seem plausible because cryptocurrency is unknown territory for many people.”


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