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Crypto-Related Crime Decreased by 65% in 2023, Scams Declined the Most as Ransomware Increased

The numbers from June 2023 show that crypto inflows to illicit entities are down 65% compared to June 2022, demonstrating a healing period for the crypto sphere.


Crypto-related scams declined in 2023.
Caption: iStockPhoto

Crypto research company Chainalysis’ latest report revealed that crypto crime decreased by 65% year-over-year in June 2023. The data also shows that inflows to risk entities, such as mixers and high-risk exchanges, have declined by 42%.


In the meantime, ransomware crimes increased, while the inflow to legitimate services recorded a 28% decrease.


Inflows to illicit addresses by crypto crime category.
Source: Chainalysis

Scams the Main Crypto Crime


Scams came forward as the main crypto crime that recorded the biggest decline. Between June 2022 and June 2023, crypto scammers have taken nearly $3.4 billion less than they did compared to a year before, marking a 77% decrease. Just over $1 billion was recorded since the beginning of 2023.


Hacks followed Scams as the second crypto crime area that recorded a decline in inflows. According to the data, Hackers could steal around $1.1 billion less in 2023 compared to 2022.


The decline in scam revenue can be partly attributed to the abrupt disappearance of two major scams - VidiLook and Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Financial Management. Both scams followed the typical investment scam model, promising outsized returns on cryptocurrency investments.


VidiLook, in particular, introduced a unique twist by rewarding users with its native VDL token in exchange for watching digital ads. However, these scams appear to have exit scammed, vanishing with significant funds and ceasing user deposits and withdrawals.


Ransomware Attacks


On the other hand, ransomware attacks disrupted the general decline flow and became the only crypto crime category that recorded an increase. Ransomware attackers stole approximately $175.8 million more than they did during the same period in 2022.


According to the report, this increase could result from big game hunting, where ransomware attackers target large, deep-pocketed organizations, and successful small-scale attacks increase. If the current pace continues, ransomware attackers are on track for their second-biggest year ever, with an expected total of $898.6 million extorted in 2023.


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