Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies and are known for their market volatility so the value of investor’s assets go up and down quickly. Criminals have taken advantage of the unregulated nature of cryptocurrencies to scam consumers.

Criminals advertise schemes promising, in some cases, high returns through cryptocurrency investing. Frequently advertised on social media, criminals try to lure you in with adverts offering easy money quickly. They want to obtain your money or personal information.

Criminals often set up cloned websites purporting to be legitimate investment firms and may even send out paperwork with official branding to add a layer of credibility to their scams. You may also receive an initial payment of your “returns” to convince you to invest larger sums of money.

TakeFive advised the following on how to spot a cryptocurrency scam;

  • You see adverts on social media, sometimes celebrity endorsed, offering unrealistic returns on investments
  • You’re contacted by phone, email or social media about an opportunity using aggressive techniques with apparently little or no risk
  • You’re told you buying in at the perfect time. You may be offered a high return on your investment with apparently little or no risk
  • You’re pressurised into making a decision with no time for consideration


If you think you have fallen for a scam, report it!

  • Report the scam to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) by contacting their Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 or using their report form.
  • Report it to your bank
  • Report it to Police Scotland – Call 101
Police Scotland

Information from Police Scotland Cybercrime Harm Prevention Team

Back to top of the page