Date Posted: 
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), Securities Division received a complaint from a Washington investor regarding (TrustGHQ). The investor lost over $200,000 to the scammers behind TrustGHQ in an apparent cryptocurrency pig butchering scam. To carry out the scam, TrustGHQ impersonated a self-custody wallet provider with a similar name. The TrustGHQ website is no longer available.

The investor met the scammer on a dating website. The scammer claimed to be a woman named “Marina Romani” who worked for a large, well-known company. After communicating on WhatsApp, the scammer convinced the investor to trade cryptocurrency using TrustGHQ.

The investor wired funds to their account to purchase Ether (ETH), then made five transfers of the Ether into the following TrustGHQ wallet: 0x561eff762d024a5898b87ba40b0da3701504490c

On-chain activity for that wallet shows that all of the investor’s funds were transferred within minutes to three different wallets, then further dispersed to numerous other wallets. The movement of the investor’s funds in this manner is a hallmark of cryptocurrency scams.

TrustGHQ impersonated the similarly-named wallet provider by using its logo and purportedly offering a self-custody wallet with the same product name. The TrustGHQ website claimed that its wallet was “[t]he easiest and most secure crypto wallet” and that it enabled customers to trade on hundreds of decentralized exchanges (DEXs) to earn interest.

The investor’s purported TrustGHQ wallet showed that their investment grew to over $1 million in a month. When the investor tried to withdraw $45,000 of their earnings, they were unable to do so. They then chatted online with a purported TrustGHQ’s customer service representative, who demanded that the investor pay $45,000 into their TrustGHQ trading account to initiate the withdrawal.

The online chat was hosted at the following URL: This site has since been taken down. Both this online chat site and the TrustGHQ website were created just a few weeks before the investor made their first investment. Domain registration information for both websites indicate that the creator(s) of the site were located overseas.

The investor did not pay the $45,000 demanded by TrustGHQ and has lost their entire investment.

DFI has not verified these allegations.

This appears to be what is commonly called a "Pig Butchering” scheme. It may also be an “Advance Fee Fraud,” which can take many forms.

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

Social Media and Investment Fraud