Alleged Cryptocurrency broker extMarkets appears to be engaged in fraud against California consumers
The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has received a complaint from a California resident regarding a crypto investment.
The victim told DFPI he was scammed into transferring money to this supposedly UK-based company for bitcoin trading purposes, after hearing about the company from a person on Facebook. The victim gave money to a “trader” who then claimed he had made a lot of money. The victim then paid the trader in bitcoin in order to withdraw his profits, but was instead asked to give even more money. The company claims its address is 168, St. Christopher Street, Valletta VLT 1467, and operates a website at extmarkets.com. The trader on Facebook used the name “Patrick Krouse”.
This appears to be what is commonly called an “Advance Fee scheme,” which can take many forms, as discussed here: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/advance-fee-schemes.
The DFPI urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation offering investment or financial services. To check whether an investment or financial service provider is licensed in California, consumers may contact the Department for questions or inquiries at email@example.com or call toll-free at (866) 275-2677. If a consumer believes a person or company has violated state law or acted improperly regarding a consumer financial product or service, they may file a formal complaint with the DFPI at https://dfpi.ca.gov/file-a-complaint/.
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