How much do you know about cryptocurrency? If your answer is “not much,” that’s exactly what crypto scammers want to hear. And that’s exactly who one cryptocurrency company targeted with its false and misleading claims, according to a lawsuit filed by the FTC.
The FTC’s complaint against Celsius Network LLC says the company marketed and sold financial services using YouTube and Twitter to promote marketing videos that were full of false and misleading claims. For example, Celsius claimed its crypto platform was safer and more stable than a bank. (It wasn’t.) And it told people that depositing crypto onto its platform came with a “no risk” promise that they’d earn high interest on their deposits. (A lie.) Even worse, the FTC says the company used people’s crypto deposits without permission to spend, trade, invest, or pay business expenses. When Celsius started running out of money, it blocked people’s account access, preventing them from withdrawing their crypto. Now, Celsius is in bankruptcy, and consumers are unlikely to get all their crypto back.
Here's how to avoid a cryptocurrency-related scam:
- Don’t trust people who make big promises or guarantees. Only scammers promise “no risk” and guarantee high returns.
- Research the company or cryptocurrency platform. Search online for the company or crypto platform name, plus “review,” “scam,” or “complaint” to see what people say.
- Know that cryptocurrency accounts are not backed by a government like traditional FDIC-backed bank accounts. If something happens to your crypto account or funds, the government may not have an obligation to step in and help get your money back.
- Learn about cryptocurrency and scams. Scammers take advantage of people’s understanding (or not) of cryptocurrency and how it works. Visit ftc.gov/cryptocurrency to learn more.
Using a crypto platform that isn’t living up to its promises or guarantees? Tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
Thank you for this information. Hopefully, others will find it as interesting as I have.
Cryptocurrency....the most ridiculous , insidious, dangerous scheme since Madoff and Ponzi. Even worse than the Holland Tulip fiasco; at least the Hollander's had flowers.
Oh yes I was victim of a scam Twitter, and I reported the page!!! And they were so good and acted fast right on the spot send me confirmation they don’t play around with scammers never got my money back . I would like Twitter to step in and be responsible and pay me back I believe my phone and account was hacked as well.
It has happened to me with COINBASE Wallet and Coinbase which I sent a complaint to FTC from last year and nevered heard from the FTC trying to help me out when i made the complaint here ? No one has tried . You should investigate also Binance with the other two companies because my crypto currency disappeared thank you all!
In reply to It has happened to me with… by F W Young
It happened to me, too, and I also have complained to the FTC, but it has done nothing to help me even after I was told by the announcer in an FTC seminar for older people that if I filed a complaint IT WOULD BE INVESTIGATED, WHICH WAS A FLAT-OUT LIE!!! Coinbase first set up automatic re-purchase commands on my very first $1,000 (the maximum daily amount I was allowed by it to spend on crypto) purchase of Ethereum on a daily basis, which by the time I came back to my Coinbase account had resulted in my spending $6,000 I didn't plan to spend, in some instances after ETH had shot up from $2,400 to $3,575!!! It happened AGAIN to me on my next purchase, which I diligently tried to make sure to prevent, although I caught it this time after a day. Then Coinbase changed its customer "agreement" to one where if I agreed I would waive my claims against it for converting my money, which effectively locked me out of my account! Yet you still wouldn't help!!
In reply to It happened to me, too, and… by John B. Gage
Learn what happens to the reports you file with the FTC at www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov/#/faq.
Your report goes into the FTC's Consumer Sentinel database, which is available to federal, state, and local law enforcement across the country.
The FTC uses reports like yours to investigate and bring cases against fraud, scams, and bad business practices, but can’t resolve reports on behalf of individuals. We will share your report with more than 2,800 law enforcement partners.
Thank you so much. I've learned if you can't watch your money all day every day then don't invest.
And Poor seniors. We're there play ground for Scamming.
An acquaintance seriously marketed cryptocurrency investing to me for a while with youtube videos etc but when they lost money they went mute. I pretended that I had bought just to keep them off my back but when money was lost, they never ever followed up. Lesson learnt.
I have been scammed by 1 of the trading companies known as metrofx it's one of the trading platform
I hope to get my money back from bitpay and ramp and ultrapro and tradedynamis. Moonpay, CEX, coinmama, coinbase
I had filed a lawsuit suing coinbase global inc and won but never received the settlement