Luno, one of the largest exchanges in Africa, says that financial crime involving crypto increased in 2021.
This is in contrast to the global trend in crypto crime that has been on the decline.
According to a UN report on trade, in 2019, 2.1% of all global crypto transactions globally were categorised as illicit. In 2020 this number dropped to 0.34% of all global cryptocurrency transactions.
Luno has found three main reasons behind the increasing rate of crypto crime in Africa:
- Low financial education and poverty that makes people more desperate
- Crypto is a new technology that users are uncertain about
- Poor data protection
In Africa, based on Luno data, scams are by far the leading crypto crime types with 95% of all crimes discovered in the exchange involving customers being scammed.
According to Eva Crouwel, Head of Financial Crime, Luno, crypto crime has no particular target:
“Interestingly, there is no specific demographic for victims, despite widely-held perceptions that scammers target either the ignorant elderly, or young mavericks looking to make a quick buck or previously disadvantaged users.”
– Head of Financial Crime, Luno
Here are some of Luno’s tips that users can apply to keep their crypto safe:
- Use a recognised, reputable exchange as the significant investment in security will mean that your money remains safe
- The weakest link is human beings. It is very rare to see actual hacking in crypto financial fraud
- It is true that crypto is volatile but be aware that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is
- Treat your login information with as much respect as you do your bank login details
According to The 2020 UN Report on Trade and Development, it estimates that Africa as a whole faces illicit losses of USD 88.6 million each year.
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