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Steve Vondran, Esq. studied crypto in the early days at Oxford University. I am a crypto investor myself and believe in the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. That being said, you have to be SUPER CAREFUL what you are doing as a crypt investor. This blog provides some general information and resources to (1) help you prevent from being scammed and (2) consult if you a victim of a scam.
Podcast: do NOT purchase crypto from ANONYMOUS people!
Beware of companies claiming they can help you recover for your Crypto scam
According to the FBI website, this is another SCAM on top of the Crypto SCAM. It seems there is no end here.
Increase in Companies Falsely Claiming an Ability to Recover Funds Lost in Cryptocurrency Investment Scams
The FBI warns of an increase in cryptocurrency recovery schemes, which exploit victims who lost cryptocurrency to fraud, scams, and theft. In 2022, victims reported losing more than $2.5 billion in cryptocurrency investment frauds alone, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
Representatives of fraudulent businesses claiming to provide cryptocurrency tracing and promising an ability to recover lost funds may contact victims directly on social media or messaging platforms. Victims may also encounter advertisements for fraudulent cryptocurrency recovery services in the comment sections of online news articles and videos about cryptocurrency; among online search results for cryptocurrency; or on social media.
Recovery scheme fraudsters charge an up-front fee and either cease communication with the victim after receiving an initial deposit or produce an incomplete or inaccurate tracing report and request additional fees to recover funds. Fraudsters may claim affiliation with law enforcement or legal services to appear legitimate.
Private sector recovery companies cannot issue seizure orders to recover cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency exchanges only freeze accounts based on internal processes or in response to legal process. Victims can also choose to pursue civil litigation to seek recovery of their funds.
TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF
- Be wary of advertisements for cryptocurrency recovery services. Research the advertised company and beware if the company uses vague language, has a minimal online presence, and makes promises regarding an ability to recover funds.
- If an unknown individual contacts you and claims to be able to recover stolen cryptocurrency, do not release any financial or personal identifying information and do not send any money.
- Law enforcement does not charge victims a fee for investigating crimes. If someone claims an affiliation with the FBI, contact your local FBI field office to confirm.
- Provide transaction details when reporting cryptocurrency investment fraud to law enforcement. Include information about your interactions with individuals claiming to offer cryptocurrency recovery services.
Ripped off or scammed by a crypto investor, crypto exchange, NFT transaction, Defi or other related issue? Fill out our form to have your case reviewed
Who are the major Crypto Exchanges?
Here are some of the top exchanges that sell crypto assets:
- Fidelity Crypto
Common Crypto Investment Scams from the FTC
According to the FTC, here are some common investment scams, and how to spot them.
A so-called “investment manager” contacts you out of the blue. They promise to grow your money — but only if you buy cryptocurrency and transfer it into their online account. The investment website they steer you to looks real, but it's really fake, and so are their promises. If you log in to your “investment account,” you won't be able to withdraw your money at all, or only if you pay high fees.
A scammer pretends to be a celebrity who can multiply any cryptocurrency you send them. But celebrities aren't contacting you through social media. It's a scammer. And if you click on an unexpected link they send or send cryptocurrency to a so-called celebrity's QR code, that money will go straight to a scammer and it'll be gone.
An online “love interest” wants you to send money or cryptocurrency to help you invest. That's a scam. As soon as someone you meet on a dating site or app asks you for money, or offers you investment advice, know this: that's a scammer. The advice and offers to help you invest in cryptocurrency are nothing but scams. If you send them crypto, or money of any kind, it'll be gone, and you typically won't get it back.
Scammers guarantee that you'll make money or promise big payouts with guaranteed returns. Nobody can make those guarantees. Much less in a short time. And there's nothing “low risk” about cryptocurrency investments. So: if a company or person promises you'll make a profit, that's a scam. Even if there's a celebrity endorsement or testimonials from happy investors. Those are easily faked.
Scammers promise free money. They'll promise free cash or cryptocurrency, but free money promises are always fake.
- Scammers make big claims without details or explanations. No matter what the investment, find out how it works and ask questions about where your money is going. Honest investment managers or advisors want to share that information and will back it up with details.
Places to report Crypto Scam
- The relevant Crypto exhange (Crypto.com, Coinbase.com, Kucoin, etc,)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at sec.gov/tcr.
- FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
Contact a California Crypto Law Firm
We handle cases of SIGNIFICANT financial loss and where you can ACTUALLY FIND AND LOCATE a defendant that actually has money to go after, or cases dealing with a crypto exchange that has caused you damage. For more information email us through our contact form or call (877) 276-5084.