Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new complaint bulletin that highlights complaints the CFPB received related to crypto-assets. Consumers most commonly reported being victimized by frauds, theft, account hacks, and scams. Consumers also had issues with executing transactions and transferring assets between exchanges. Many consumers had issues with accessing funds in their account due to outright platform failures, identity verification issues, security holds, or because of technical issues with platforms. Poor customer service is a common theme across crypto-related complaints.
“Our analysis of consumer complaints suggests that bad actors are leveraging crypto-assets to perpetrate fraud on the public,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Americans are also reporting transaction problems, frozen accounts, and lost savings when it comes to crypto-assets. People should be wary of anyone seeking upfront payment in crypto-assets, since this may be a scam. We will continue our work to keep the payments system safe from fraudsters targeting Americans.”
Crypto-assets are a private sector digital asset that depend primarily on cryptography and a distributed ledger (such as a blockchain) or similar technology. These assets are also commonly referred to as “virtual currencies,” “cryptocurrencies,” “crypto tokens,” “crypto coins,” or simply “crypto”.
Scammers often target crypto-assets since it can be difficult to determine the person or people behind many crypto-asset addresses, and there are a number of techniques scammers use to obscure the movement of crypto-assets to other accounts. This can make tracing crypto-assets stolen by fraudsters more time consuming for regulators and law enforcement.