Report: Consumers Besieged by–and Falling Prey to–Crypto Scams

Sift’s Q2 2022 Digital Trust & Safety Index reveals consumer loyalty is at risk as they experience an increase in crypto scams and other abusive content

SAN FRANCISCO, June 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sift, the leader in Digital Trust & Safety, today released its Q2 2022 Digital Trust & Safety Index, which revealed that 43% of consumers have encountered scams encouraging them to join fake cryptocurrency exchanges. Moreover, almost one in four people (22%) who encountered these scams reported that they lost money to them. The report examines the rise and impact of fraudulent content across sectors based on Sift’s global network of over 34,000 sites and apps, as well as consumer perception of content fraud based on a survey of 1,100 U.S. consumers.

The cryptocurrency industry has been a prime target for exploitation despite its recent volatility, with cybercriminals reportedly raking in $1 billion in cryptocurrency from January 2021 to March 2022. As a result of widespread abuse—combined with the market’s one-third drop in valuation in 2022—consumer skepticism is in danger of further hampering the industry’s growth.

Sift has observed a new level of sophistication among cybercriminals who are using multiple communication platforms and counterfeit cryptocurrency exchanges to swindle consumers—sometimes out of millions of dollars. In early 2022, Sift’s Trust and Safety Architects discovered a proliferation of Pig Butchering scams, where fraudsters on online dating apps trick victims into investing in fake cryptocurrency exchanges so they can pocket the funds. This method highlights an evolution of content abuse where cybercriminals use their own custom-built platforms to target the cryptocurrency industry.

Fraudsters Take Advantage of Content Creation

From fake Ukrainian fundraising and COVID-19 relief schemes, to pig butchering and cryptocurrency fraud, cybercriminals are clearly doubling down on content scams. Scams are occurring at unprecedented volumes, with Sift finding that 73% of consumers see misleading content or false information daily or weekly.

As for the types of content abuse businesses face, scams make up over half (55%) of the content blocked across Sift’s network, followed by spam/unsolicited commercial messages (30%), and toxic language (14%). Likewise, consumers feel surrounded by scams, as 62% agree that they encounter scams more frequently than any other type of fraudulent content.

To carry out attacks, cybercriminals have chosen social sites and online communities as their platforms of choice. According to Sift’s findings, 65% of consumers said social networking sites are most riddled with misleading content, followed by classifieds (30%), messaging apps (30%), marketplaces (28%), and dating sites (22%).

“Content abuse is often the spark that sets off a wildfire of financial fraud that targets consumers and businesses,” said Jane Lee, Trust and Safety Architect at Sift. “Moreover, when users are inundated by spam and scams on a given platform—whether it be on a dating app, social network, or e-commerce marketplace—they will simply stop using that service and go to a competitor that offers a safer, trusted experience.”

Sift’s Q2 2022 Digital Trust and Safety Index can be found here. Likewise, readers can visit Sift’s Fraud Intelligence Center for the latest updates on the Fraud Economy.

About Sift
Sift is the leader in Digital Trust & Safety, empowering digital disruptors to Fortune 500 companies to unlock new revenue without risk. Sift dynamically prevents fraud and abuse through industry-leading technology and expertise, an unrivaled global data network of 70 billion events per month, and a commitment to long-term customer partnerships. Global brands such as Doordash, Twitter, and rely on Sift to gain a competitive advantage in their markets. Visit us at, and follow us on LinkedIn.

Media Contact:
Victor White
Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Sift

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