The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has received a complaint from a California resident regarding a crypto investment scam.
The victim told the DFPI that he was contacted on Instagram by someone who referred him to “Rosabell” about the investment. Communicating via Whats App, Rosabell, who claimed to be an “account manager,” told the victim, “Trading with our signal and system requires an investment that generates profits within 7 trading days. You make an investment of a certain amount of money and then you get a certain percentage. Once your trading account is created, you will be assigned a wallet address and this is your wallet address for your trading. Rosabell told the victim that the investment included cryptocurrency mining and requested payment in crypto. The victim started as a “beginner” in the program, but was later told that if he donated $5,500 in cryptocurrency, he would be placed in the “advanced” level.
At some point afterwards, the victim asked to withdraw his entire investment, but Rosabell told him he had a “locked deposit” and could not withdraw for a year. However, Rosabell pretended to be a licensed broker with Blockchain and convinced the victim that if he transferred $10,000 worth of Bitcoin, she could get his entire cryptocurrency investment back to him, plus interest, minus service fees .
After the victim transferred the cryptocurrency to Rosabell’s wallet, she told him that he would need to transfer additional funds to obtain payment. Shortly after, Rosabell cut off all communication with the victim. These allegations have not been verified by the DFPI.
This appears to be what is commonly referred to as an “advance fee system”, which can take many forms, as noted here: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and- crimes/advance – fee schemes.
The DFPI urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation offering investments or financial services. To verify whether an investment or financial services provider is licensed in California, consumers may contact the Department with questions or inquiries at [email protected] or call toll-free at (866) 275 -2677. If a consumer believes that a person or business has violated state law or acted improperly regarding a consumer financial product or service, they can file a formal complaint with the DFPI at https:// dfpi.ca.gov/file-a-complaint/.
Additionally, the DFPI reminds all Californians to protect their personal information online, as outlined here: https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/protect-your-personal-information-data.