A new crypto fraud operation targeting Latino residents has been uncovered, according to reports. The scam involves a group offering cryptocurrency services to Spanish-speaking individuals and businesses, promising high returns on investments. However, after the initial deposit, the group disappears and all activity on their website and social media channels ceases. Authorities warn that this is just the latest in a string of fraudulent activities targeting Latino communities, and encourage people to thoroughly research any cryptocurrency investment opportunities before handing over any money.
Investing in digital assets comes with inherent risks, including price crashes, scams, pump-and-dump schemes, and hacks such as exchange and protocol hacks and Ponzi schemes. A recent Ponzi scheme has affected up to 30 Latino investors, leading to warnings from City Hall to be cautious. The scammers behind the operation were employees of CryptoFX LLC, a company currently involved in a federal case in Texas. The SEC executed an emergency action to stop the unregistered crypto-asset offering to Latino investors, which had been advertised by Mauricio Chavez and Giorgio Benvenuto as a way to make more money. However, the SEC revealed that Chavez had no training, experience, or education about crypto assets or investments, and used investors’ funds to pay out other investors and fund his own wealthy lifestyle. City Hall warns residents not to invest in crypto-related offers and to exercise caution and research investments intensely. Victims can file claims on their lost funds through various sites, including CryptoFX Receiver and the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation platform.