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Scammers conned church group out of COVID stimulus checks, investigators say | #coronavirus | #scams | #covid19

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Two people have been barred from operating securities businesses in Alabama after investigators say they scammed an Alabama resident, and their church group, into investing their coronavirus stimulus checks into a bogus scheme.

The Alabama Securities Commission says Asic Bitpro and Elizabeth Cummings used a popular social media platform to carry it out, promising rates of return from 7,662% to 34,259% from a cryptocurrency cloud mining plan. They have been barred for fraudulent claims, deceptive advertising and failing to register with the ASC. The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert that verified Bitpro as an international fraud scheme.

The ASC says the scheme had several red flags. For example, no one can guarantee returns to investors, and the astronomical amount of the return promised was an obvious source of concern. Alabama law also requires that most investment products and professionals register with the ASC.

ASC Director Joseph P. Borg said investors should always ask if someone is licensed or if their products are registered, and check with the ASC to verify.

“Technology buzzwords, such as ‘cryptocurrency’, ‘cloud mining’, and ‘quantum computing’, are often exploited by fraudsters to take advantage of well-meaning investors,” Borg said.

The ASC did not disclose details regarding the Alabama victims or the social media platform used in the scheme.

If you see or suspect that you fell victim to a COVID-19 related investment scam, report it to COVIDCONS@asc.alabama.gov.

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