Senator Elizabeth Warren warned of cryptocurrency scams targeting older adults during a US Senate Select Committee on Aging on November 16.
In it, Warren cited FBI statistics indicating that crypto fraud stole $2.5 billion from consumers in 2022. She added that this fraud primarily targets consumers.
She pointed out that such frauds often target the aging population, noting that last year, crypto investment scams targeting older adults increased by 350%. Warren said it was the largest increase for any age group. She said that represented more than $1 billion in losses for seniors and that the total was “almost surely an underestimate.”
Warren also interviewed an expert witness, Steve Weisman, a lawyer and lecturer at Bentley University and editor-in-chief of Scamicide.com.
In response to Warren’s questions, Weisman suggested that older adults are particularly vulnerable to cryptocurrency scams due to brain changes involved in aging, as well as greed and “fear of missing out” (FOMO). which are common in cryptocurrencies.
Weisman suggested that the anonymity of cryptocurrency is “great” and helps scammers. He said that while specific attacks have been traced, cryptography transmitted through coin mixers is difficult to trace. He added that fraudulent crypto transactions are complex to block, unlike fraud involving traditional methods such as credit cards.
Weisman supports Warren legislation
Ultimately, Weisman endorsed Warren’s bill, calling it “long overdue” and “something that would absolutely provide invaluable help.”
The legislation in question is Warren’s Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, which was reintroduced in July 2023 and has since gained additional support.
Among others. The law would extend know-your-customer (KYC) requirements to other members of the blockchain industry, extend reporting requirements to certain transactions involving more than $10,000 in digital assets, and introduce recordkeeping requirements. records regarding “unhosted” or stand-alone transactions. custody wallets.
Warren is well known for her harsh anti-cryptocurrency stance. She also highlighted various other issues, such as the role of cryptocurrency in drug trafficking, tax evasion and terrorist financing.