More than 46,000 people reported losing over $1 billion in cryptocurrency scams since the start of 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said in a report.
Nearly half the people who reported losing digital currencies in a scam said it started with an ad, post or a message on a social media platform, according to the FTC. Bitcoin touched a record high of $69,000 in November.
About $575 million of all losses related to digital currency frauds were about bogus investment opportunities.
Nearly four out of every ten dollars lost in a fraud originating on social media was lost in crypto, far more than any other payment method, with Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram being the top social media platforms in such cases.
The top cryptocurrencies people said they used to pay scammers were Bitcoin (70 percent), Tether (10 percent), and Ether (9 percent).
Nearly four out of every ten dollars reported lost to a fraud originating on social media was lost in crypto. The top platforms identified in these reports were Instagram (32 percent), Facebook (26 percent), WhatsApp (9 percent), and Telegram (7 percent).
The average reported loss for an individual was $2,600 and bitcoin, tether and ether were the top cryptocurrencies that people used to pay scammers.