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Cryptocurrency scams rose to second riskiest place in 2021

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Luis Feliz
Luis Feliz
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RALEIGH, NC (March 8, 2022)- Cryptocurrency-related scams jumped from the seventh-riskiest scam in 2020 to the second-riskiest in 2021, according to the 2021 BBB Scam Tracking Risk Report. While cryptocurrency scams represented only 1.9% of scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker in 2021, the average dollar loss reported from these scams was $1,200, much higher than the overall average dollar loss of $169 in comparison of other types of scams . The annual report looks at scams reported to the Better Business Bureau.

Online shopping scams maintained the top spot as the riskiest; this type of scam accounted for 37.4% of all scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker in 2021, with 74.9% reporting a monetary loss. Job scams fell in 2021, from second to third riskiest. The susceptibility and average dollar loss of this type of scam decreased slightly, while the number of reported scams increased from 7.1% in 2020 to 7.8% in 2021.

While susceptibility (the percentage of people who lose money when they are scammed) decreased in 2021, the average dollar loss increased by 47.0%. Credit cards remained the highest reported payment method with a monetary loss , followed by online payment systems. Payment made through cryptocurrency resulted in a monetary loss that doubled since 2020. The payment methods with the highest average dollar loss were wire transfer ($1,450), cryptocurrency ($1,200), check ($900), and prepaid card ($700).

Regarding age, online shopping scams were the riskiest for all age groups in 2021. Cryptocurrency scams were the second riskiest for ages 25-64. Job scams ranked second and third riskiest across various age groups. Interestingly, investment scams were the third riskiest for ages 18-24 for the first time since the BBB began publishing the risk report. The rise of cryptocurrency scams as the second riskiest overall in 2021 may play a role in the rise of investment scams for this age group.

The 5 riskiest scams

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Visit BBB.org/ScamTracker to report a scam, learn more about other risky scams at BBB.org/ScamTips, and visit our news section.

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