Crypto Investors May Lose $3B, US FTC Believes

US watchdog representatives took part at consumer protection workshop on cryptocurrency scams
26 June 2018   488

Consumers lost $ 532 million due to crypto fraud in the first 2 months of 2018, reports CoinDesk.

Consumers will lose more than $3 billion by the end of 2018.
 

Andrew Smith

Director of Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC

One of the main problems complicating the protection of consumers in this area is insufficient attention from investors themselves. This was pointed out by Joe Rotunda, enforcement director for the Texas State Securities Board.

Coin Center research director Peter Van Valkenburgh noted that people are victims of fraudulent schemes, such as exit-scams and pump-and-dump schemes, because they believe in proposals that are too good to be true.

I think nobody should ever buy any more cryptocurrency, put anymore [into] cryptocurrency than what they are completely willing to lose … if you are willing to participate at all. That is a message that needs to be repeated and repeated.[...] If you yourself are not capable of explaining to somebody what a token's supposed to do, you should not buy the token,. If you can't tell the wheat from the chaff, or what is techno-gibberish or actual innovation, you should not participate.
 

Peter Van Valkenburgh

Research director, Coin Center

Rotunda believes that regulators should take a more active position "oin any type of new market, especially this type" as a cryptocurrency one.

Regulators need to number one, identify companies that are trying to do it right and work with [them]. The companies that are trying to do it right [should] get a telephone call from the regulator, not a cease-and-desist order, right? Not a lawsuit. We can usually work with them ... [and] we need to identify the fraudulent schemes and we need to act quickly and stop them.
 

Joe Rotunda

Enforcement director, Texas State Securities Board.

As reported, the event also saw calls for approaches to self-regulation, an idea that has seen advancement from both public and private sources in recent months.

Crypto Billionaire to Lost 5.5k BTC Due to Fraud

Thai scammers convinced 22 yo Finnish crypto billionaire to invest in their 'investment' scheme
13 August 2018   234

The 22-year-old cryptocurrency millionaire lost more than 5,500 bitcoins after taking part in the investment scheme in Thailand. The case attracted public attention because of the possible participation of a Thai actor. This is reported by Bangkok Post.

A group of scammers in June 2017 persuaded Finnish businessman Aarni Otawa Saarimaa to invest in several Thai securities, a casino in Macau and a crypto currency called Dragon Coin.

Scammers claimed that Dragon Coin could be used in Macau casinos. In addition, they brought Saarimaa to this casino to demonstrate the legitimacy of their project. Saarimaa transferred 5 564 BTC to fraudsters.

In January, without receiving any income for his investments, Saarimaa filed a complaint with the Crime Suppression Division's (CSD), along with his local business partner, who believed that this investment scheme was fraudulent.

CSD began to investigate the case and stated that the group made no investment for Saarimaa, instead transferring all the bitcoins to Thai baht and placing these funds on seven bank accounts.

Although it is not clear when exactly the scammers sold the bitcoins, CSD announced that they raised about 800 million baht or about 24 million dollars.

Then followed a months-long investigation, according to which CSD began to suspect that the Thai film actor Jiratkisit "Boom" Jaravijit also took part in the fraudulent scheme - he was arrested last Wednesday.

In addition, the CSD stated that it suspects the actor's brother, Princess Jaravijit, as the "instigator" of this entire scheme. He left Thailand, traveling to South Korea, and then to the United States. According to the Bangkok Post, CSD is currently working with the US to track him down.