crypto fomoWith the rise in the values of crypto-currencies like Coinbase, Bitcoin, Ethereum and many others, you may be feeling like you have missed the boat by not investing in digital assets. It is that FOMO—Fear Of Missing Out—that scam artists have been exploiting. This prompted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Division of Enforcement’s Retail Strategy Task Force (RSTF) to issue an Investor Alert on crypto investment scams. The notice said, in part, that “Fraudsters continue to exploit the rising popularity of digital assets to lure retail investors into scams, often leading to devastating losses.”

The SEC highlighted some warning signs of a scam. The agency warns that promises like guaranteed high investment returns … with little or no risk” is almost sure sign of a scam. Another red flag is when the sellers are unlicensed or unregistered. The SEC stated that “Unlicensed, unregistered sellers commit much of the securities fraud targeting retail investors in the U.S.”

Even when done properly investing in crypto assets is a high risk endeavor and if you fall in with a fraudster it can get much worse. The SEC cautions that “If an investment ‘opportunity’ sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” (But you really didn’t the SEC’s help in knowing that did you?)

 

 

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
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