Crypto fraud has accounted for losses of more than £146 million ($200 million) in the U.K. this year, according to the City of London Police.
The figure is 30% higher than for all of 2020, the City of London Police said Monday.
The U.K.’s national reporting center for fraud and cyber crime, Action Fraud, has received 7,118 reports of crypto fraud since the start of the year, equating to an average loss of over £20,500 ($28,000) each time.
Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish described the significant increase in crypto fraud over recent years as “unsurprising,” given the increased time that people are spending online.
One of the most common methods of defrauding victims is through a fake celebrity endorsement, in which pictures of well-known figures accompany advertising for fraudulent schemes in order to make them appear legitimate.
Action Fraud received 558 such investment-fraud reports between April 2020 and March 2021, with 79% of them involving crypto.