Date Posted: 
Thursday, July 13, 2023

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), Securities Division has received a complaint from a Washington resident regarding, a website that has since been deactivated

The investor met an individual named “Wilson” on the dating app, Hinge, and continued talking with him on WhatsApp. After about a week of talking on WhatsApp, Wilson convinced the investor to invest in cryptocurrency stating it was the best way to make money. The investor invested a total of $69,000 on the website. The investor started to notice controlling behavior from Wilson and wanted to withdraw their investment funds. When the investor tried to withdraw their funds, they were told that their account was valued at $363,570.01. The investor was told they would need to pay a 10% fee in order to withdraw their funds and that if the fee was not paid within 7 days, an additional 5% late fee would be applied. These allegations have not been verified by DFI.

This appears to be what is commonly called “Advance Fee Fraud”, which can take many forms. 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 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