Lyn Peters, Director of Communications
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Washington State Department of Financial Institutions clarifies disclosure requirements to caution consumers about scams, and issues a consumer alert on scams involving virtual currency kiosks

OLYMPIA - The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions’ (DFI) Division of Consumer Services issued a policy statement clarifying that prior to initiating a transaction, virtual currency kiosk operators must provide consumers with a separate clear and conspicuous disclosure that once money or virtual currency has been sent to a scammer, the money or virtual currency is gone.

Virtual currency kiosks (also known as Bitcoin ATMs or crypto kiosks) appear to be increasingly used to perpetuate scams. In order to effectively communicate the risks associated with entering into a virtual currency transaction, DFI is directing virtual currency kiosk operators to provide a separate disclosure to consumers clearly stating that there may be no recourse available to the consumer even if they are a victim of a scam. This disclosure must be provided to the consumer before they transact with the virtual currency kiosk. See: DFI’s policy statement.

“It’s important that consumers be forewarned of the potential fraud perpetrated in relation to these kiosks,” DFI Director Charlie Clark noted. “Scammers often get people into a heightened emotional state of fear or even panic, making it more difficult to clearly assess the situation. It is our hope that these warnings help remind people to pause and consider why they are being asked to use a virtual currency kiosk before sending money to anyone.”

The Department of Financial Institutions also posted a consumer alert with helpful information so that consumers continue to stay informed about current scams.  See: consumer alert.