The Wall Street Journal has reported citing the latest report by the analysis firm Chainalysis that scammers stole around $4.3B dollars in cryptocurrencies last year.
This figure is significantly higher than that recorded during the previous two years, as it did not exceed $3B.
During 2017 the main target of attackers were ICOs, while in 2018 most funds were stolen as a result of hacker attacks. On the other hand, almost 90% of the funds that were stolen last year came from financial pyramids such as PlusToken.
In this particular case, scammers launched PlusToken in 2018 claiming it was a decentralized and international project developed by a team from South Korea. As part of the promotional campaign, scammers promised users, mainly from Asia and Europe, very high profits if they invested in the company's token.
However, after an investigation, the Chinese authorities identified the scam and arrested 6 Chinese citizens.
According to the report, "scammers take advantage of the unique position cryptocurrency currently occupies in the public eye: Most people have heard of it, and many believe it has 'get rich quick' potential."
As a result, scammers did not find it very difficult to find victims, as they managed to steal more than $4B in 2019 making investors believe they could make money easily and fast.
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