The growing illicit activities in the crypto sector have been a significant source of concern for regulators and industry participants across the globe including the United Kingdom.
As per recent data from the United Kingdom police unit Action Fraud, crypto frauds in the country have risen by over 32% this year, taking the estimated value to 226 million pounds ($273 million). The police unit released the data to a publishing house on Monday.
Given the ongoing economic conditions in the UK, it is easy for fraudsters to target their potential victims. The country is currently going through a recession, which also increased the cost of living there, making people all the more desperate and vulnerable to these fraudsters.
Hinesh Shah, a forensic accountant working at an international law firm based in London, also shared his thoughts on the topic. According to him, fraudsters always prey on a less experienced group of investors with malicious intentions in such difficult times. These fraudsters promise unrealistic and lucrative returns to these amateur investors.
In July 2022, the official Twitter handle of their national army, which has 363K followers, was also attacked by scammers and continuously retweeted various posts advertising non-fungible token (NFT) scams. Every feature of that account was changed to look like NFT collections, including the account name, profile picture, and cover image.
Their YouTube channel, with over 177K subscribers, was also attacked and was renamed “Ark Invest.” Again crypto content was uploaded by the scammers— four live videos promoting crypto giveaway scams were uploaded to the account. They also publicized that for each bitcoin or ether shipped off them, one will get twice the amount back, similar to what was mentioned by the forensic accountant.
The country has been experiencing very high rates of crypto-related crimes recently and has been taking steps against the same.
The police officers in the country have seized hundreds of millions of pounds worth of cryptocurrency. Every UK force and regional crime unit is now equipped with officers trained and equipped to handle crypto crimes. The government has also spent approximately 100 million pounds ($116 million) to create cryptocurrency tactical advisers across policing in the last four years.
October has reported record-breaking rates of crypto hacks globally, and the amount of digital loot has been alarming. According to data, $760 million has been estimated to be stolen in digital assets in October alone. The hacks in October have come from malicious actors committing 44 exploits affecting 53 protocols.