Fraud victims have lost over £ 27m for cryptocurrency and foreign exchange investment scams in the last financial year, show new data.
Fraud reports more than tripled to 1,834 in 2018/19 compared to 530 the previous year, according to data from Action Fraud, the UK's national center for reporting cybercrime.
On average, the victims lost an average of 14,600 pounds, often attracted by social media with the promise of "get rich quick" online trading platforms.
The figures were published as part of a warning from Action Fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the city's regulatory authority, regarding scams.
He said the scammers attracted victims by promising high returns on cryptocurrency investments – a type of product including Bitcoin and Litecoin that are among the best known – and foreign currency trading.
Fake celebrity endorsements and images of luxury items like expensive watches and cars are generally used to guide consumers to professionally oriented websites in which they are persuaded to invest.
"Investors will often be led to believe that their first investment has produced profits successfully," said FCA and Action Fraud.
"The scammer will then contact the victim to invest more money or introduce friends and relatives with the false promise of greater profits.
"However, in the end the returns stop, the client's account is closed and the scammer disappears without further contact."
The director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said: "These figures are surprising and provide a strong warning that people must be wary of false investments on online trading platforms."
Mark Steward, executive director of the application and market supervision at the FCA, said: "Scammers can be very convincing, so always do your research on any company you're considering investing in to make sure it's the good deal."
The FCA is launching an advertising campaign to raise awareness of scams.
Gareth Shaw, chief of the consumer group Which?, Said: "Millions of people risk losing sums of money that change the lives of scammers who operate increasingly sophisticated scams."
He said the victims have little chance of getting their money back and asked for a "joint approach" from the government, police and businesses to prevent people from being scammed and to help them recover their money when they are .
Shaw added that banks should step up preparations to introduce confirmation of beneficiary name checks "that could reduce bank transfer fraud mid-night."
Laura Suter, a personal finance analyst at the investment platform AJ Bell, said: "Cryptocurrency is a scammer's paradise, as many people" invest "in these activities do little research and are sucked into the promise of oversized returns in one incredibly short space of time. "