- Thousands of investor and consumer complaints about potential cryptocurrency fraud are received annually, according to the DFPI, and something has been done with the information.
- It has created a record of complaints about cryptocurrency by victims who allege to have been duped or discovered attempted schemes.
A new cryptocurrency scam tracker has been released by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation to aid traders and investors in identifying potential dangers to the sector.
The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) introduced the tracker on February 16. It is based on user complaints, with the agency maintaining a record of grievances on cryptocurrency from victims who allege to have been duped or have discovered attempted dupes.
The mentioned complaints are accounts of losses incurred in transactions that victims identified as part of a dishonest or fraudulent scheme. The DFPI acknowledged that it has not independently validated any of the listed scams but added that it nonetheless receives thousands of investor and consumer complaints annually.
According to DFPI Commissioner Clothilde Hewlett, scammers are operating covertly and preying on the “most vulnerable Californians” by taking advantage of the public’s interest in cryptocurrency assets. She continued by saying that the department was taking steps to find them:
“Through the new Crypto Scam Tracker, combined with rigorous enforcement efforts, the DFPI is committed to shining a light on these ruthless predators and protecting consumers and investors.”
The majority of the 36 complaints that have already been added to the tracker were social media and social engineering schemes, in which users were tricked into acting in specific ways utilizing frauds on Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, and dating apps.
The DFPI refers to four out of five as “pig-butchering scams,” attempts by con artists to build a rapport and gain confidence with the victim.
The DFPI lists imposter websites as one of the most often reported scams. It said that the potential for customer misunderstanding produced by businesses or websites with names that look- or sound alike is real. Consumers have told them that scam notifications help them steer clear of similar scams, according to DFPI spokeswoman Elizabeth Smith. Elizabeth further stated:
“Our hope is that this tool will be a resource for Californians to use before they are targeted or make financial decisions and help Californians from falling prey to prevent future scams. We also want to encourage people to report scams — it helps us keep all Californians safe.”
Users can utilize the tracker’s search feature to seek shady websites or cryptocurrency initiatives beforehand. Additionally, keywords in the pitch you’re thinking about can be searched for.
California DFPI issued a public alert at the end of 2022 regarding several rogue cryptocurrency brokers and websites.