Owing to the lack of regulation and restriction in the United Kingdom, fraudulent companies have been flocking to the country.
A higher number of scams pertinent to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry is expected but, according to the UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) the numbers are low currently compared to other online fraud.
According to research and data from the CPS, a whopping 86% of fraud reported within the country occurs online. As more people have had to move online as a result of the global pandemic, the number of online fraud has increased. However, out of over 27,000 cases of online fraud reported, fewer than 5,600 cases are related to cryptocurrency This number accounts for approximately 20%. Since the number of general fraud cases was over 822,000, the number of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency-related fraud accounts for as little as 0.6% of overall fraud. These cases were reported to and recorded by the City of London police.
Bitcoin price gaining attention
While cases of fraud related to Bitcoin might be low, the numbers are rising. With Bitcoin’s meteoric rise over 2020, the scams involving the cryptocurrency market saw a near 60% increase over the year. As Bitcoin gained more than four times its price over the course of the year, it comes as no surprise that scams related to the coin saw an increase. It’s worth noting that the ratio remains low, given that all digital fraud scams saw an increase as the world moved online.
Bitcoin scams to increase
Max Hill, the director of public prosecutions, commented on the steady rise of both non-crypto and crypto-related fraud cases, saying that he expects the scams to see an increase as the industry garners fresh attention. He noted that scams where any profit is plausible and will likely increase:
“Whilst schemes using high investment returns have been used for decades, I think we will see increasing numbers. Cases coming in are in low numbers now but my prediction is they will increase.”