- Australians are losing money to crypto scams.
- The country’s police have created a department dedicated to crypto crimes.
- ACCC cautions Australians on crypto scams.
According to the most recent statistics from Scamwatch, Australians have lost a total of $166.5 million (242.5 million Australian dollars) to scammers so far in 2022. This prompted the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to establish a new department committed to clamping down on crime connected to digital assets.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is the organization in charge of running Scamwatch. It educates customers as well as owners of small companies on how to identify fraudulent activities, how to prevent them, and how to report them.
Stefan Jerga, the AFP’s criminal asset confiscation command, told the Australian Financial Review:
The environment was such that we felt a standalone team was required, rather than a lot of officers picking up some of this skill set as part of their overall role. So we’ve now got a dedicated team that continues to grow.
The new department’s primary mission will be to seize the assets of criminals, although it will also play a significant part in the investigations of other linked cases.
Delia Rickard, the deputy chair of the ACCC, has cautioned Australians in the past that they should be highly suspicious of anybody who asks them to invest in or move money using cryptocurrencies.
This is particularly true if the person requesting you to do so is someone you have only met online. The fact that many people are inexperienced with the subtleties of cryptocurrencies makes them more susceptible to being taken advantage of by scammers, says the deputy chair.