According to the Australian news site ABC on their current affairs program 7.30, information received from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch program revealed that, in 2017, it received 1,289 complaints concerning scams within the crypto industry. It was also reported that the total losses due to scams reached $1,218,206.
Commissioner John Price of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) spoke on the show and warned that, “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.”
This news comes just two months after Australia modified their regulations on the industry to more closely monitor and control the industry. The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) was given the green light to monitor Australia’s cryptocurrency exchanges in December, 2017.
This new regulation mandated that exchanges operating in the country register with Austrac and be placed on a dedicated registry. In addition, there are other regulations that must be implemented, such as moves to limit the risks of money laundering and financing terrorism, verifying the identity of customers, and keeping some records for seven years.
Around the globe, authorities and regulators are increasingly cracking down on the industry to prevent and identify fraudulent schemes.
According to a January report by the media site CoinDesk, The District Attorney’s Office of New York County has removed more than 70 investment sites that were alleged scams.
In recent weeks, both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Future Exchange Commission (CFTC) have started to take action.
On January 25, the SEC charged AriseBank, a cryptocurrency banking firm, because of alleged fraud and security rules violations, and order a cease-and-desist order to prevent the firm from operating.
The CFTC has also sued My Big Coin, a crypto scheme, for alleged fraud at around the same time. And just one week before, the CFTC brought two lawsuits against other cryptocurrency investment schemes alleged to be scams.