DFI has received complaints from two Washington residents regarding www.bitgets.io, a website purporting to be the most “trusted cryptocurrency exchange.”
How the Scam Works
The victims told DFI that they were scammed into transferring money to the Bitgets.io platform after hearing about it from a person they met through seattlechinaren.com, a website catering to Chinese speakers in Seattle.
The scammer told the victims that they were a successful investment manager and could help them make a lot of money trading cryptocurrency. The scammer convinced them to open an account by downloading the Bitgets.io phone app to their phones and to use the app to invest in cryptocurrency. The scammer, communicating through chat apps like Line and WeChat, told the victims that “the greater the investment, the lower the risk.”
Shortly after the victims made their initial investment, they logged into the Bitgets.io app and saw purported massive investment gains in their online accounts. At first, the victims were able to withdraw small amounts of funds, which gave them a false sense of security and encouraged them to invest further. Once the investors attempted to make a larger withdrawal of their purported investment gains, their accounts became “frozen.”
The scammer told the victims that before they could make any further withdrawals, they must first pay various fees in taxes and charitable contributions up to 35% of their investment. The investors never received any further withdrawals and have lost their initial investments of approximately $400,000. 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.
What Can You Do To Prevent 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 DFI, Securities Division at (360) 902-8760.
If you live outside of Washington State, contact your state securities regulator.
How To File A Complaint
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.
File A Complaint with Securities Division