COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

It’s a popular trend hitting the financial market, investing in cryptocurrency. However, with the rise in popularity comes online scammers.

According to a report from the Federal Trade Commission since October 2020, consumers have reported losing more than $80 million to cryptocurrency investment scams. In that report, nearly 7,000 reports were received from consumers about these scams in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.

The median amount people lost to a scam was $1,900.

Christopher Leach, is an attorney in the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Financial Practices and told ABC 17 News cryptocurrency scams are skyrocketing for several reasons.

“People are hearing a lot about it,” he said. “It’s also very new which means a lot of people don’t understand all the ins and outs of investments.”

Leach said it’s that sort of gap between popularity and knowledge that scammers can come in and fill the void and unfortunately deprive people of their hard-earned money or cryptocurrency.

Some of the most common ways scammers are tricking a consumer is by offering investment tips that redirect consumers to fraudulent sites. Scammers could also pose as celebrities, tricking people to buy into their fake endorsements. They could also promise big payouts with guaranteed returns.

“You’re never going to get this again, you don’t want to miss out before the market falls again,” Leach said. “Those are…

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