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California resident loses money in a YouTube Cryptocurrency scam, then falls victim to an asset recovery fraud

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has received a complaint from a California resident regarding cryptocurrency fraud.

A California resident told DFPI he fell victim to live stream scam on youtube where the scammers impersonated a well-known cryptocurrency personality and claimed to be giving away free cryptocurrency. The victim signed up to the wallet displayed on the screen believing cryptocurrency would be transferred in, but instead lost his own ether cryptocurrency.

Hoping to get his cryptocurrency back, the victim sought out help and came across Diablo Gem on the Quora.com forum. They immediately responded and said they could help recover his lost ether, but asked for a fee, also to be paid in cryptocurrency. The asset recovery scammers continued to ask for more cryptocurrency over a course of months. Eventually, the victim realized it was a scam, after having lost about 9 EHT tokens, which he had to borrow money to purchase. Because of the instructions the scammers gave him to transfer the ether tokens, he was unable to get his money back. These allegations have not been verified by the DFPI.

This appears to be what is commonly called an “Advance Fee scheme,” which can take many forms, as discussed here:  https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/advance-fee-schemes.

In addition, the DFPI cautions against so-called imposter scams, where the scammer pretends to be someone else, here, another legitimate website. More information is available here: https://consumer.ftc.gov/features/imposter-scams.

And, the DFPI cautions against Asset Recovery Fraud. More information can be found here:

https://www.sec.gov/oiea/investor-alerts-bulletins/ia_assetrecovery.html, and reminds all Californians to protect their personal information online, as discussed here: https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/protect-your-personal-information-data.

The DFPI urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation offering investment or financial services. To check whether an investment or financial service provider is licensed in California, consumers may contact the Department for questions or inquiries at ask.dfpi@dfpi.ca.gov or call toll-free at (866) 275-2677. If a consumer believes a person or company has violated state law or acted improperly regarding a consumer financial product or service, they may file a formal complaint with the DFPI at https://dfpi.ca.gov/file-a-complaint/.