Feb 17, 2023

DFPI Launches Crypto Scam Tracker to Protect Investors

The Californian Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has recently announced the launch of a crypto scam tracker designed to help crypto traders and investors identify potential industry threats.

On Feb. 16, the DFPI released the scam tracker which compiles a list of crypto-related grievances reported by victims of fraud or attempted scams. While the DFPI has not verified any of the scams listed, it receives thousands of consumer and investor complaints each year.

Clothilde Hewlett, Commissioner of the DFPI, commented on the tracker saying: “Scammers are in the shadows using the public’s interest in crypto assets to take advantage of the most vulnerable Californians. 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.”

The majority of the complaints listed in the tracker are social media and social engineering scams, where users have been duped into taking action via scams on Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, and dating apps. 80% of these complaints are what the DFPI refers to as “Pig Butchering Scams”, where scammers attempt to establish a relationship and trust with the victim.

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

Imposter websites are also one of the most commonly reported scams, according to the DFPI. “When companies or websites (fake or not) have a look- or sound-alike names, the potential confusion created for consumers is real,” it noted. The tracker also has a search function enabling users to look up potentially fraudulent websites or crypto projects in advance.

The crypto space is an exciting and fast-paced environment, and with the rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), the space is becoming more accessible to the general public. However, with the rise of NFTs, comes the rise of NFT scams.

To protect consumers from the potential scams and frauds that exist in the crypto space, the DFPI has taken a proactive approach in launching the Crypto Scam Tracker. The tracker is designed to help users identify scams and fraudulent activities in the crypto space, and to help them make informed decisions when investing in crypto assets.

The DFPI has also created a Twitter account dedicated to NFT promotion, where they post helpful tips and advice on how to safely buy, sell, and promote NFTs. Additionally, they have established a web3 agency to help users identify and avoid NFT scams.

The DFPI is committed to protecting consumers and investors from crypto scams and frauds, and their efforts to create the Crypto Scam Tracker and provide helpful resources to users is a great step in the right direction.

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