FTC to Conduct Workshop on Cryptocurrency Scams

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is attempting to end ongoing cryptocurrency scams not just through cracking these deceptive schemes down, but also through an upcoming workshop it will be hosting this June.

The workshop titled “Decrypting Cryptocurrency Scams” is organized by FTC to continually protect consumers from misleading rewards and other illegal activities as more people step into the world of cryptocurrency systems like Bitcoin. Scams to be discussed are the faulty investment and business opportunities, bait-and-switch schemes, and clickbait-designed headlines on marketed mining machines.

The agency will invite the law enforcement sector, stakeholders, private-sector businesses, research organizations, and consumer advocacy groups so that consumers will be educated about the reported scammers as well as be empowered to avoid fraudsters.

It‘s free and open to the public, and it will be held on June 25, starting 1 p.m. at DePaul University, Chicago. Though pre-registration is not required, attendees are encouraged to register for the event at fintechseries@ftc.gov. (This link will send an e-mail to interested participants.)

FTC has been protecting American consumers from unfair business practices for over 100 years. It envisions America to have a “vibrant economy characterized by vigorous competition and consumer access to accurate information.” Any issue related to the economic life of every American is dealt by this agency.

Prior to the workshop announcement, FTC already publicized its aim to highlight its fight against cryptocurrency scams since 2014. During that year, FTC was behind the shutdown of Butterfly Labs, a Bitcoin mining equipment provider that charged fees to its consumers yet didn’t provide services efficiently and on time.

One of the agency’s latest complaints was filed against Bitcoin Funding Team and My7Network, two alleged scammers who promised consumers that their $100 initial investment in bitcoin could turn into $80,000 in monthly income. This complaint came days after Google decided to ban cryptocurrency-related ads.

“This year, we updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs),” said Scott Spencer, Google’s director of sustainable ads, in a blog post.

FTC lawyers have also filed a restraining order against four Florida-based investment organizers that were promoting cryptocurrency-related scams.

Because cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology are still developing, criminals find ways of using it to victimize people. Nonetheless, even if FTC continues to hold cryptocurrency fraudsters accountable for cheating consumers, it still encourages people to opt for innovative investment alternatives like cryptocurrency. It always proves to be transformative for the economy.

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