Cryptocurrency website 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.
Victim met someone calling herself “Rosalie” on WhatsApp, who introduced him to eth-Wintermute.net, telling the victim this would generates dividends on liquidity pools every 6 hours based on the amount of money put into the Metamask app wallet. The scammer walked the victim through the process where he downloaded the BinanceUS and Metamask apps on his phone, then used the Metamask browser to connect to eth-wintermute.net Victim transferred approximately $130,000 over the course of a few days. Then Rosalie pressured victim to change to an escrow contract, to “lock in his profits” for 7 days, earning higher interest once a day, instead of every 6 hours. After they showed his investment was worth more than $167,170 the victim tried to withdraw but Rosalie, and the “customer support” person on the app, told him he needed to deposit another $84,000 in order to withdraw the full amount. Now, his $167,170 in the DAPP app, and he cannot withdraw it. He contacted the legitimate platform Wintermute.com, who told him that eth-wintermute.net is not part of Wintermute and is not connected with them. Thus, the scammers impersonated the real Wintermute.com’s website to fool the victim.
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 email@example.com 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/.
Consumer Alerts Archives
- Consumer Alerts 2023
- Consumer Alerts 2022
- Consumer Alerts 2021
- Consumer Alerts 2020
- Consumer Alerts 2019
- Consumer Alerts 2018
- Consumer Alerts 2017
- Consumer Alerts 2016
- Consumer Alerts 2015
- Consumer Alerts 2014
- Consumer Alerts 2013 and 2012
- 2004-2013 Escrow Alerts Archive
- Enforcement Alerts Archive
- Payday Lender Alerts Archive