SEC Official Calls Crypto Scams the ‘Flavor of the Year’
Scams involving celebrity endorsements of digital assets are becoming more common.
- Peter Diskin, an assistant regional director at the SEC’s Atlanta office, said that fraudsters leverage popular sectors such as crypto to get the attention of victims.
- Diskin pointed out that international criminals have a leg up with crypto scams, because the online and global nature of digital assets can make scams harder to spot and stop.
- “Not infrequently the money can be removed from U.S. bank accounts and go overseas, which makes it even more difficult to recoup things if something goes wrong,” Diskin said.
- Diskin also discussed the prevalence of celebrity endorsements in the crypto world, many of which have been tied to scams, such as actor Steven Segal’s promotion of a fraudulent initial coin offering.
- Reports of crypto scams have soared recently, with nearly 7,000 people reporting total losses of more than $80 million to the Federal Trade Commission between last October and May, according to a report cited by MarketWatch. The reported median loss was $1,900.
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