Cryptocurrency broker GE Chains 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 was referred by a friend to gechains.com, a cryptocurrency trading platform. The victim opened an account, and started trading with a small amount of money, but then got a call from “Betty” an associate at GE Chains, who asked the victim to put more money into the trading account, so the victim deposited $5,000 more into account. Betty pushed him again to put more money in, so he deposited $5,000 more. Then a week later Betty asked him to deposit another $10,000. This time, the victim said no, and was told his account was suspended. The victim asked to withdraw his money, and after about a week Betty agreed he could withdraw his money if he paid commissions to her of 20% . She also told him his account balance had grown to more than $28,000 and the commissions would be based on that amount. The victim borrowed more than $5,600 from a friend to pay for it , but still couldn’t withdraw his money. Betty then told her to get his friend, who also had not been able to withdraw money, to put more money in, then they both could withdraw together. The victim pleaded with Betty to let him withdraw his money, so she put him in contact with the “service department” where he talked to “Susie” who told him he to pay a tax 15%, or more than $4,200, within a few days or else his account would be permanently frozen, and his account would be turned over to a “monetary authority” who would sue him for his money. The company operated the website https://GEChains.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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