CFTC files ‘romance scam’ charges on crypto exchange Debiex | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) alleges that the Debiex crypto exchange platform swindled about $2.3 million from customers.

Per a CFTC statement, the complaint asserts that certain officers and managers of Debiex reportedly established amicable and “intimate” relationships with prospective customers by disseminating false information to gain trust.

Subsequently, these individuals encouraged the said customers to open and finance accounts meant for digital asset commodity trading with Debiex.

Debiex is accused of accepting and misappropriating an estimated $2.3 million from about five customers from around March 2022 until now.

Among the mentioned defendants in the filing is Zhāng Chéng Yáng, whose digital wallet is said to have been used to defraud at least one customer’s funds.

“This case is an example of the Division of Enforcement’s core mission—bringing justice for victims, rooting out misconduct, and holding accountable those who violate the anti-fraud provisions of the CEA.” 

Director of Enforcement Ian McGinley

According to the complaint, Debiex allegedly operated publicly accessible internet domains, established in March 2022. The domains were accessible to customers in the U.S.

The exchange is said to have utilized these websites to target individuals of Asian descent in the country.

The allegations further state that Debiex purportedly misused customers’ digital assets instead of employing them for trading, as promised. With customers being entirely unaware, the websites allegedly replicated the characteristics of a genuine live trading platform, with the “trading accounts” being nothing more than a deceptive facade. CFTC believes no genuine trading activity occurred on behalf of the customers.

Crypto romantic scams are growing into something of a norm in the industry, so much so that they have caught the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  Last year, just days before Valentine’s Day, the FBI warned about an alarming increase in online romance scams, where fraudsters deceive victims into sending money under the pretense of investing or trading cryptocurrency.

Special Agent in Charge of FBI Jacksonville Sherri E. Onks emphasized that while online dating has become increasingly common, it unfortunately provides fertile ground for scammers. 

Onks urged individuals seeking love or companionship online to comprehend the risks of exploitation fully. Furthermore, she indicated that scammers are bound to make demands eventually, so it is vital to establish clear boundaries from the outset and refrain from sending money to individuals one has never met.

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