egulators and law enforcement agencies worldwide have been exploring ways to eradicate crypto crimes and repel bad players from the industry. The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) took its efforts to the next level with a newly launched crypto scam tracker.

Reports have it that the regulator launched the security tool called zDFPI on February 16. According to the DFPI, it designed the crypto scam tracker based on user complaints.

DFPI A Block List-like Scam Alert Tool To Protect Crypto Users

After observing several complaints from scam victims, the DFPI decided to take action by developing a security tool that can warn users of potential scams and protect them from losing their funds. 

The scam tracker comes with the department’s list of complaints by victims of crypto-related scams. In its complaints list, the DFPI described losses incurred in transactions that victims identify as part of fraudulent or deceptive operations. But the DFPI said it has yet to verify the scams listed, noting that it receives thousands of consumer and investor complaints yearly.

In a statement, the DFPI’s Commissioner, Clothilde Hewlett, said scammers lurk in the shadows, using public interest in crypto assets to exploit vulnerable California citizens. The commissioner added that the DFPI is taking action to identify the criminals through the new crypto scam tracker. The department is also adding other rigorous enforcement efforts to expose these scam operations and protect consumers.

DFPI: Most Crypto Scams Originate From Social Media And Imposter Websites

According to the DFPI, Most of the 36 complaints listed in the tracker were from social media and social engineering scams. The scammers duped users into taking action through Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, and dating applications. When users respond accordingly, scammers gain access to steal their funds.

According to the DFPI, four-fifth of the complaints are “pig-butchering scams” A pig-butchering scam is a process by which scammers flatter their victims and slowly gain their trust before carrying out the target action. This kind of scam is prevalent in social media.

California-Based Regulator Launches Crypto Scam Tracker
Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on TradingView.com

The DFPI also described other means through which scammers operate. According to the Californian agency, imposter websites are also among the scams most frequently reported by crypto consumers.

In detail, the DFPI said lookalike or sound-alike company and website names are often potential causes for confusion among consumers. Consumers find it difficult to identify an original website from a fake. Scammers create fake lookalike website domains to impersonate firms and confuse ignorant consumers.

The agency also explained that scammers promote high-yield investment programs to entice and lure vulnerable users into pouring money into the scam. The tracker also has a search feature to enable users to look up suspicious websites and crypto projects to identify if they are scams.

In the report, DFPI spokesperson Elizabeth Smith commented on the new development. In her words, the DFPI heard from consumers that “Scam Alerts” help prevent others from falling victim to similar scams.


Feb 19, 2023
Crypto News

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