Cryptocurrency broker 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 participated in a livestream event on YouTube where subject offered “2 for 1 airdrop of Bitcoin or Ethereum, i.e., any Send will be returned with twice the Receive, up to 25000 ETH & 5000 BTC” for 24 hours. Victim sent 3 ETH and received a message from a Chat agent (translated from Russian as “Thanks for allowing me to eat.”) Victim then realized it was a scam. The company operated a website at https://airdrop-strategy.com.
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. This also appears to be what’s known as a Social Media Scam, which is described here: https://dfpi.ca.gov/2022/05/20/romance-scams-and-crypto-assets-fact-or-fraud/.
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/.
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