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Cryptocurrency broker appears to be engaged in fraud against California consumers

Dec 29, 2022

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

The victim met “Aimee Liu Jing” online on the dating site OkCupid. Aimee asked to continue the conversation on WhatsApp. Aimee then offered to teach the victim about trading digital assets. The victim purchased cryptocurrency through the Coinbase platform and then transferred money to an App which victim thought was associated with a legitimate company. Victim transferred more than $1 million in 10 different transactions, as directed by Aimee. At some point, Aimee told the victim that the market was unstable, and he should withdraw all the money. But when he tried to withdraw a small amount, the wallet app asked him to confirm his identity and provide identification, which he did, using his US passport as identification. He also provided his bank information for the deposit.

He then received a text from the wallet app customer service saying he needed to pay taxes of more than $300,000 to the IRS up front. The victim became suspicious and asked if he could just have the taxes deducted from the withdrawal. He was told the app did not have the authority to deduct taxes. The victim then asked to cancel the withdrawal but was told he couldn’t do that either. Instead, the wallet app customer service said he needed to pay the taxes within 7 days and provided an address. The victim reached out to Aimee and asked her about this practice, and she said she has been using this app for many years, and that he should pay his taxes like a good citizen. Aimee also pressured him to obtain loans to pay the taxes. The victim reports he has no luck getting his money back from the wallet app, and that Aimee continues to contact him. The company operated the website at This is not to be confused with the company Rakuten Group, Inc.

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 30, 2022 @ 4:44 pm