California launches website to combat cryptocurrency scams and highlight risks

The California Attorney General’s Office announced on Tuesday the launch of a new website that will provide information on the risks and scams associated with buying cryptocurrencies.

The website includes tips on buying and trading cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as well as frequently asked questions about selling and trading digital-only assets.

“From celebrities to your next door neighbor, it seems like everyone is investing in cryptocurrency these days on the promise of quick and easy money,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta, in a press release. “Don’t fall for a fantasy – Cryptocurrency, like all investments, involves significant risk, and there’s no guarantee you’ll see significant returns – or any -.”

Bonta said the website will provide resources for Californians who want to get started in online currency trading with tips for avoiding scams and other pitfalls.

The attorney general said anyone looking to join the cryptocurrency craze should always be sure to do additional research before investing in a specific asset, and urged those spending money to do so. spend wisely.

“You should only invest money that you are prepared to lose, and you should be on the lookout for red flags and potential scams,” Bonta said.

Unlike money that is kept in a bank or credit union, there is no government guarantee or assurance for digital assets, the AG office says. If you lose your money on a crypto scam or a coin goes bankrupt, you are on your own.

Bonta recommends that Californians keep up to date with the latest cryptocurrency scams by visiting the new website, as well as subscribing to updates from other official agencies that handle and monitor the crypto exchange.

Buyers are also encouraged to watch out for signs of cryptocurrency scams.

The Attorney General’s Office has provided the following warning signs to look out for when buying and trading cryptocurrency:

  • Guarantees of large returns in exchange for money or cryptocurrency: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that there are no guarantees of large returns with crypto assets.
  • Token names similar to well-known cryptocurrencies: Scammers will use names for their tokens that are incredibly similar to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether in hopes that you will assume their tokens are the real thing or are associated with the real cryptocurrencies. Look carefully at the name and do some research to see if the crypto asset is legit.
  • Require cryptocurrency payments: No legitimate company will force you to pay in cryptocurrencies or other crypto-assets.
  • Require large upfront payments: Requiring you to pay a large sum of money to participate in a particular lucrative business indicates that you are invited to a scam.
  • Unsolicited phone calls or emails: Never give your account information to anyone who calls or emails you unsolicited, even if they claim to be from a legitimate business. Instead, hang up the phone or close the email, go to the company’s website, and use the phone number or email on the website to contact the company.
  • Celebrity endorsements: Not all celebrity endorsements mean that the underlying crypto asset is a scam, but it is important to remember that celebrities get paid big bucks to promote these assets.

If you believe you have been scammed or believe someone is trying to scam you, you are encouraged to file a complaint with state and federal regulators.

Complaints may also be filed with the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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