A Queensland couple have revealed they lost a total of $110,000 in a cryptocurrency scam – part of a crippling trend that has “exploded”.

A Queensland couple have detailed how they lost a total of $110,000 in a cryptocurrency scam – part of a crippling trend that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) warn “exploded” during the pandemic.

New figures from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission showed a 172 per cent increase in cryptocurrency losses between January and November this year, totalling $109 million.

The rise in crimes, Avast cyber security expert Stephen Kho told News Corp Australia, highlight how careful Australians should be about investing in anything online but particularly cryptocurrency, which did not offer the same security as a standard financial transaction.

“Blockchain technology is hard to trace and hard to track, whereas if someone steals your credit card number and they report it you might get the money back,” he said.

“With cryptocurrency, if they steal the money, it’s gone.”

Two people familiar with the reality of that situation are Emma Robinson and Hugo de Meira Quintao – who by the beginning of this year had saved more than $110,000, having long dreamt of buying their own home.

Before diving into the property market, though, 24-year-old Hugo had been investing in stocks, and began looking for other options to increase his initial house deposit.

When he received an unsolicited phone call one day – from someone…

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