California investor targeted in online crypto fraud
The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has received a complaint from a California resident regarding a crypto investment scam.
The victim told DFPI he was contacted on Instagram by an individual who referred him to “Rosabell” about investing. Communicating through Whats App, Rosabell, who claimed to be an “account manager,” told the victim: “Trading with our signal and system requires an investment which yields profit in less than 7 trading days. You make an investment of a certain amount of money then you get a certain percentage. Once your trading account is created a wallet address will be assigned to you and this is your wallet address for your trading.” Rosabell told the victim the investment included cryptocurrency mining and asked for payment in crypto. The victim started out as a “Beginner” in the program but was later told if he gave $5,500 in cryptocurrency he would be put at the “Advanced” level.
At some point after that, the victim asked to withdraw his entire investment, but Rosabell told him he had a “locked deposit” and couldn’t withdrawal until after one year. However, Rosabell claimed to be a licensed broker with Blockchain and convinced the victim that if he transferred $10,000 worth of Bitcoin, she could get him his entire cryptocurrency investment back, plus interest, minus any service fees.
After the victim transferred the cryptocurrency to Rosabell’s wallet, she told him he would need to transfer additional funds to get the payout. Soon after, Rosabell cut off all communication with the victim. These allegations have not been verified by the DFPI.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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/.
In addition, the DFPI reminds all Californians to protect their personal information online, as discussed here: https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/protect-your-personal-information-data.
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