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Cryptocurrency broker SIMEX appears to be engaged in fraud against California consumers

Dec 28, 2022

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has received a complaint from at least one California resident regarding a crypto investment.

Victim #1 reported meeting “Li Xiao” on LinkedIn, who then suggested they move further communication onto the Line app. There, Li Xiao claimed that she could offer advice on how to trade Binary Options through cryptocurrency and sent an invite link onto the platform. However, instead of downloading an app, the platform asked Victim #1 to download a “configuration profile” onto his Apple device. Victim #1 believed they were dealing with the Singapore International Monetary Exchange Limited, or Simex. Victim #1 transferred approximately $480,000 worth of cryptocurrency from to Simex in eight transactions. Victim #1 was able to withdraw various small amounts from $100 to $2,500, but when he tried to withdraw $500,000 his request was rejected.

Victim # 2 met “Marcella Arias” on LinkedIn after he promised a trading opportunity to grow her personal wealth. After various exchanges via text message and phone conversations, Victim #2 eventually downloaded a third-party app via, which she now believes was a fake site disguised as the authentic website of the Singaporean Monetary Exchange (SIMEX/SGX).  Arias continued to gain Victim #2’s trust, urging her to deposit more and more money into her account, claiming his proprietary trading techniques and touting connections to prestigious wealth-management firms and universities (JP Morgan Chase & Co, New York University). Victim #2 eventually made six deposits to the “Simex” app, amounting to more than $1.2 million. At some point Arias even asked Victim #2 to deposit her retirement savings locked in her 401K, which raised her suspicions. She then discovered that the Simex app she was using was not tied to the authentic Singaporean Monetary Exchange. ” The company operated the websites at;; and

This appears to be what is commonly called an “Advance Fee scheme,” which can take many forms, as discussed here: This also appears to be what’s known as a Romance Scam, which is described here:

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 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

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Last updated: Dec 28, 2022 @ 4:35 pm