Feb 17, 2023

DFPI Launches Crypto Scam Tracker to Protect Investors

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation has launched a new crypto scam tracker to help traders and investors identify and avoid potential industry threats.

The tracker, which was released on Feb. 16, is based on user complaints, with the department compiling a list of grievances from victims who claim to have been scammed or have identified attempted scams. The complaints listed represent losses incurred in transactions that victims have identified as part of a fraudulent or deceptive operation.

The DFPI has not verified any of the scams listed, but noted that it receives thousands of consumer and investor complaints each year.

“Through the new Crypto Scam Tracker, combined with rigorous enforcement efforts, the DFPI is committed to shining a light on these ruthless predators and protecting consumers and investors,” said DFPI Commissioner Clothilde Hewlett.

The majority of the 36 complaints already listed in the tracker relate to social media and social engineering scams, where users have been tricked into taking action via scams on Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok and dating apps.

Four-fifths of them are “pig-butchering scams,” which are essentially social engineering attempts by scammers trying to establish a relationship and trust with the victim.

Imposter websites are also one of the most commonly reported scams, according to the DFPI. The tracker has a search function which enables users to look up potentially fraudulent websites or crypto projects in advance.

Elizabeth Smith, a DFPI spokeswoman, said that “We have heard from consumers that scam alerts help them avoid similar scams.”

As the NFT and crypto markets continue to grow, the DFPI is committed to providing consumers and investors with the tools they need to protect themselves from scammers. The new scam tracker is just one of many initiatives the department is undertaking to ensure that traders and investors can safely navigate the web3 space.

In addition to the scam tracker, the DFPI has also launched a range of other initiatives to help protect consumers and investors from scams. It has set up a Twitter account to alert users to potential scams, as well as a hotline to report suspicious activity. The department has also partnered with a web3 agency to provide NFT marketing services and to help promote the sale of NFTs.

By providing these resources and tools, the DFPI is working to ensure that traders and investors are empowered to make informed decisions and avoid the risks associated with the web3 space.

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