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2020 was a record year for investment and cryptocurrency scams — with 26,500 cases reported to the government, resulting in a loss of $419 million — and 2021 is on pace to exceed those numbers, according to a new survey.

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The new Motley Fool survey finds that 2021 will be a record year for investment fraud as 14,079 investment scams were reported to the Federal Trade Commission in the first quarter of 2021 and those victims lost $215 million. This represents about half of the total reported scams and losses in all of 2020, which suggests 2021 will be a record-setting year for investment scammers.

“2021 is on track to be even more costly, with cryptocurrency scams playing a leading role,” Jack Caporal, research analyst at The Motley Fool, tells GOBankingRates.

“Younger Americans appear to be either targeted by crypto scammers or are more susceptible to crypto scams. Scammers are tapping into cryptocurrency’s growing popularity and the ubiquity of social media to take advantage of the general public,” he adds.

The survey did find that the use of cryptocurrency and social media by scammers has skyrocketed, but many people don’t report when they’re targeted by a scam, plus almost 75% of people targeted by fraud or a scam are less likely to…

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