Date Posted: 
Thursday, April 27, 2023

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), Securities Division has received a complaint from a Washington resident regarding (“Tradetown Capitals”). It appears the Tradetown Capitals website has been taken down. The investor was introduced to Tradetown Capitals over Instagram by an individual purportedly named Henry Parks (“Parks”). The Instagram screenname for Parks was “_henry_parks_”. It appears Parks’ Instagram account, “_henry_parks_” was taken down and Parks created a new account called “henry_parks_”. Parks Instagram profile states that he is a “crypto investor account manager.”

The investor saw a post from a friend on Instagram who had invested in cryptocurrency mining with Parks. The investor reached out to Parks using Instagram direct messaging, to ask more about the investment opportunity. Later, after investing with Parks, the investor discovered that Parks hacked their friend’s Instagram and was posting on their friend’s Instagram page.

Parks told the investor that he worked for Tradetown Capitals. Parks told the investor that the investment would be for cryptocurrency mining but Parks did not discuss the mining process with the investor. Prior to investing, Parks never discussed fees with the investor, other than Tradetown Capitals will take a minimal portion of what the investor makes.

Parks told the investor to start an account at Tradetown Capitals and Coinbase. Parks provided the investor with the purported Tradetown Capitals cryptocurrency wallet address. Parks told the investor to purchase Bitcoin (“BTC”) through their Coinbase account and transfer the BTC to the Tradetown Capitals wallet. The investor purchased approximately $3,000 BTC plus $100 worth of BTC to cover fees and sent it to the Tradetown Capitals wallet.

After the investment, the investor’s Tradetown Capitals account grew in profit. Parks told the investor that the “mining process” takes 24 hours. After 24 hours, Parks told the investor that they could request a withdrawal.

When the investor attempted to withdraw funds, they received an email from Tradetown Capitals ( demanding the investor pay a 15% withdrawal fee. After the investor paid the withdrawal fee, the investor received another email from Tradetown Capitals stating that due to the delay in paying the withdrawal fee, the investor’s “trading/mining account plan had expired.” Tradetown Capitals demanded the investor pay a fee to upgrade their account in order to receive the withdrawal. After paying the upgrade fee, the investor received another email from Tradetown Capitals stating that the plan the investor chose is no longer available and they will have to pay more money and select a different investment plan. The investor lost $24,600 investing on Tradetown Capitals. These allegations have not been verified by DFI.

This appears to be what is commonly called “Advanced 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