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According to data from the UK police unit Action Fraud, about £226 million ($273 million) was lost in crypto fraud over the past year.
Many UK residents are currently struggling to survive in the wake of a recession that is taking a toll on all and sundry, leading to a rise in crypto fraud. In hard times like this, criminals seek to exploit people and reap their funds. Reports have shown that crypto fraud in the UK grew 32% over the past year. According to data from the UK police unit Action Fraud, about £226 million ($273 million) was lost in crypto fraud over the past year.
UK Crypto Fraud Increases amid Recession
The recession in the UK is getting worse by the day, with readings suggesting that the economy is shrinking at a 0.4% quarterly rate. A major survey also added that the economic downturn could linger into the coming year. While S&P Global’s poll places the economic fall at a 0.4% quarterly rate, Gloom said it was widespread. There are also expectations that new businesses may stumble to the point of no recovery.
The cost of living has increased amid the recession, and many are now vulnerable to fraudsters. A forensic accountant at Pinsent Masons, Hinesh Shah, told Financial Times on Monday:
“Whenever times are tough, fraudsters always seek to prey on less experienced investors by promising huge returns.”
There have been major discussions on crypto in the UK and the presence of crypto firms in the country. The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a report that crypto fraud is tied to increased cyber crimes. The agency noted 5,568 suspected crypto scams between the 1st of April 2021 and the 31st of March this year. The reports increased 36% YoY, and the UK financial watchdog intensified its commitment to warning consumers of the risks of crypto investments. There are currently 39 crypto-asset firms legally operating in the US, with 246 running without undergoing necessary procedures. The FCA’s executive director of markets, Sarah Pritchard, stated:
“Setting high standards and acting quickly to crack down on problem firms will help ensure market and consumer confidence, supporting the integrity and growth of UK financial services.”
With the recent happenings in the UK, crypto fraud is almost inevitable not to record crypto fraud cases. Illicit activities involving cryptocurrencies make major news headlines, and law enforcement has seized crypto assets worth millions due to criminal acts.
About a month ago, UK lawmakers agreed to legally see crypto as a regulated financial instrument. Parliamentarian Andrew Griffit proposed that crypto should be regulated in the country. He added that this would not mean that it would have preferential treatment. Instead, it would help the UK’s regulatory framework for financial assets.