Crypto investment scams at Lloyds Bank have surged by almost a quarter this year, according to a warning from the global banking group.
Lloyds Bank warned on Friday that the number of British investors being defrauded due to false advertising of crypto investment opportunities was on the rise in 2023.
The group claimed the volume of crypto scams reported by its customers had risen by 23% compared to 2022.
The warning said that the average amount lost by victims of crypto investment scams in 2023 was £10,741, an increase from £7,010 last year. This makes the loss from crypto scams on average higher than any other type of consumer fraud, according to Lloyds.
The majority of crypto scams were found to have started on social media, with Instagram and Facebook in particular being identified as the most common sources. Tactics include misleading advertising, fake celebrity endorsements and direct messages.
The age group most effected by crypto scams was said to be 25- to 34-year-olds, who made up a quarter of all cases.
Lloyds Bank said that Revolut accounts are the most common recipient of crypto scam payments made from Lloyds accounts, however, it noted that Revolut accounts are not always the end destination of the funds.
Banks have been put on high alert for crypto scams, with a handful simply opting to avoid the asset type completely.
In September, Chase UK announced a total ban on any transactions relating to cryptoassets. The company said the decision was made because “fraudsters are increasingly using crypto assets to steal large sums of money from people”.
Last year, challenger bank Starling issued its own ban on crypto transactions after a review on its financial crime prevention policies.
British blockchain industry body CryptoUK, in an interview with UKTN in October, called out banks for being too risk averse when it comes to crypto. The group’s director of operations, Su Carpenter, said the government should intervene to “force” banks to work with crypto firms to implement meaningful safeguards.