Intelligence firm starting to see coronavirus-related cryptocurrency fraud

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Crypto intelligence company CipherTrace, which started tracking cryptocurrency crime a few years ago, said it has started to see coronavirus-related frauds that require some form of digital currency payment. Losses from cryptocurrency thefts, hacks, and frauds soared to nearly $1.4 billion from the beginning of the year until the end of May, a report from CipherTrace showed. The proportion traced to coronavirus fraud involving cryptocurrencies for the first five months of the year was minimal, CipherTrace said, but it did not give a specific figure. Story continues below advertisement This year’s crypto crime is on track to be the second largest on record after last year’s $4.5 billion in losses. “Consumers, investors, and users continue to adopt cryptocurrency at a massive rate and it is by far the fastest-growing payment system on the planet,” Dave Jevans, CipherTrace chief executive officer, told Reuters. “At one trillion dollars in annual payments, cryptocurrency payments have grown from zero to 7 per cent in 10 years, making this volume of funds attractive to bad actors,” he added. Coronavirus-inspired fraud generally took place by luring victims off legitimate platforms into chat rooms where payment in bitcoin can be requested, CipherTrace said in the report. COVID-19 fraud has …

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