Date Posted: 
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), Securities Division has received a complaint regarding, a website claiming to be a cryptocurrency trading platform.

The investor learned of from an individual named Veronica E. Lucas via Facebook who was advertising themselves as a Forex (Foreign Exchange Market) advisor.  Subsequently, the investor communicated with the individual through Facebook Messenger.  To prove her identity and her credentials, Veronica E. Lucas provided the investor with a falsified Washington State ID with a Washington, D.C. address and a photo of a fake “United States Trading License” card (Note: A “United States Trading License” does not exist).  The investor invested a total of $16,593 [LH(2] through the website and was told there would be guaranteed earnings in 5 days. When the investor asked about withdrawals and fees, Veronica Lucas stated that a withdrawal penalty would need to be paid since the investor was new to the platform but that the profits could be withdrawn before any penalties would need to be paid. The investor was then informed that if they re-invested, they would not have to pay any fees.

After the investor initiated a withdrawal of the funds through, they were prompted to pay a $7,500 “linking fee” in order for the profits to be released. The investor reached out to Veronica Lucas indicating that they did not have additional funds to pay the fee. Lucas told the investor that hackers would take the profits if the fee was not paid within 24 hours. The investor did not pay the fee and has not been able to recover any of the funds invested into These allegations have not been verified by DFI. 

The Veronica E. Lucas Facebook page used to communicate with the investor has since been deleted, however, upon further investigation, several other pages with the same photo and name are still active across different social media platforms. Online posts were also found from other people alleging to be scammed by Veronica E. Lucas in a similar manner.

This appears to be what is commonly called and “Advance Fee Fraud”. Learn more about advance fee fraud.

DFI urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation offering investment or financial services. Investment professionals need to be licensed with DFI to offer investments to Washington residents. In addition, most investment products sold need to be registered with DFI. To check the licensing status and to find out if there are any complaints against an investment professional or investment product, please visit FINRA Brokercheck or contact the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division at (360) 902-8760. If you live outside of Washington State, contact your state securities regulator.

If a consumer believes a person or company has violated state law or acted improperly regarding an investment product or service, they may file a formal complaint with the Securities Division.

Additional Resources

Virtual Currency, Cryptocurrency, and Digital Assets Information for Consumers

Information regarding investing strategies, investment products, and how to protect yourself from fraud

What You Can Do to Avoid Investment Fraud