The ABC has reported new figures that show more than 1,200 Australians complained to the national consumer watchdog about cryptocurrency scams last year.
7.30 has obtained the latest figures from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch, showing it received 1,289 complaints related to bitcoin in 2017, with reported losses totalling $1,218,206.
The corporate regulator, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has issued a warning to would-be investors.
“These are quite speculative products and they can be quite high-risk,” ASIC commissioner John Price told 7.30.
“It’s been quite well documented that some of these products are scams, so please don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose some or all of your money.”
Unregulated exchanges are also a problem.
Investor Akram Bekzada says he was burnt by a bitcoin exchange called Igot.
In 2014 he plunged the equivalent of about $20,000 into bitcoin, using Igot to make his transactions.
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