Action Fraud the government’s anti-fraud watchdog has reported that £226 million has been lost by “investors” in the UK on unregulated Wealth Management Advisor crypto scams in the year to September. With over 10,000 scams reported.
There are lots of different Crypto scams. Some are outright frauds where fictitious new crypto coins are advertised. Others include real coins but suck in investors before the product crashes. Whatever the scam, they all rely on the promise of fast unrealistic returns, requiring immediate investment. This preys on the “Fear of Missing Out”, which is too much for many people.
As I’ve reported before, I made a crypto enquiry earlier this year just to see first hand what the sales process looked like. I wish I hadn’t. Six months later I’m still receiving calls asking me to activate my Wealth Management Advisor crypto account with a deposit of $100. Asking why I’m missing out on doubling my money. I can’t track down the source. Every time I ask about regulation the conversation is ended. I’m not sure how you can regulate a market where there is so much illegal activity.
And a market where there is seemingly so much money to be made.
The FTX crypto brokerage collapse last month, was reported to be worth over $30 billion, on paper, at least. But millions of small investors lost out. Will they recover any money? Who knows.
Administrators for the failed crypto broker say that $5 billion was withdrawn in cash assets from the company in the five days before it went into bankruptcy. They claim that those who withdrew these funds had inside knowledge of the collapse and they should pay creditors back the withdrawals. Not easy to do I’d guess.
There are also suggestions that over $350 million was paid to preferential creditors after the bankruptcy was filed, which might be recoverable. There may also be claims against auditors and perhaps Wealth Management Advisor crypto specialists who recommended investments? It has also been suggested that claims might be brought against celebrity promoters who advertised FTX on social media. (The Daily Telegraph reported that both Tony Blair and Bill Clinton had been special guests at the last FTX Conference before its collapse)
But the biggest repercussion might be that it acts as the catalyst to start the introduction of regulations into the crypto market. These would be welcome, but not if the cost burden fell on to the advice market.