The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has issued a warning to consumers in the state about a potential crypto investment scam. The DFPI received a complaint from a resident of California regarding a cryptocurrency investment.
The victim was contacted on Facebook by someone using the name “Alvin Robel.” After exchanging pleasantries, the victim was asked to move the conversation to WhatsApp. Alvin then persuaded the victim to set up accounts on crypto platforms such as crypto.com and MetaTrader5, telling her that investing in cryptocurrency was a great way to achieve her financial goals. He promised her that she could make $10 million if she traded with him. He even said he had injected his own money into his account so that she could try out trading.
After the victim had invested a significant amount of money, a “broker” then contacted her and said that $95 in capital gains taxes were needed to access her funds. After paying that amount, the “broker” then said the victim owed them “differential fees” of $35,000. In total, the victim has paid over $245,000 to the scammer, including money borrowed from friends and family.
The company’s website, http://obgfx.cc, appears to be part of what is often referred to as an “advance fee scheme” and a “romance scam.” The DFPI advises consumers to be cautious when dealing with financial or investment offers, and to check if the provider is licensed. If a consumer believes they have been a victim of fraud, they can file a formal complaint with the DFPI.