In a bid to fight cryptocurrency fraud, the Securities and Exchange Commission is planning a hiring spree that could double the size of its special unit. It also plans to add 20 investigators and litigators as part of its push to regulate the digital asset industry.
The SEC announced the plan on Monday, and will hire more staff to protect investors in crypto markets from frauds and other misconduct. The new hires will join a team that was created in September 2017 to monitor and investigate the market.
Scammers are using some tried and true scam tactics — only now they’re demanding payment in cryptocurrency.
They impersonate businesses, governments, or utilities; promise big payouts with guaranteed returns; and offer free money or crypto tokens in exchange for cash. But if you pay them, they’ll steal your money or send it to a fake account.
Investing in cryptocurrency is a risky venture, and no legitimate business or government will ask you to pay with it. That’s a warning sign that you’re dealing with a scammer, and it’s important to be aware of how to avoid them.
Binance – The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange – is planning to hire more people in 2023, CEO Changpeng Zhao said Wednesday. As the market continues to be shaken by a fall in coin prices, rival exchanges have been forced to lay off staff.
A hiring spree is also taking place at $4.5 trillion asset management firm Fidelity Investments, which has been doubling down on its crypto division to counter a booming crypto-talent shortage. Its crypto-unit will see 100 hires by the end of the first quarter, Bloomberg reported on Oct. 22.
While the hiring spree is a welcome move by the $4.5 trillion firm, it’s not enough to keep up with demand for crypto workers. In the first three months of the year, Coinbase, the largest U.S. crypto exchange, lost 2.2 million active customers as coin prices tumbled.
Scammers are also targeting small investors by offering them fake investment opportunities. These “get-rich-quick” schemes often start with a text message, phone call, or pop-up alert that promises to make you rich by buying cryptocurrency.
They may say you have an account or benefit that is being frozen, and that you need to buy and send cryptocurrency to fix the problem. This is a classic investment scam that can be easily avoided by reading the fine print of the offer.
But scammers have been getting more sophisticated in their techniques, posing as well-known companies like Amazon or Microsoft. They will email, text, and message you on social media, or even put a pop-up on your computer.
These fake messages usually claim you’re owed money or have accounts that are being frozen as part of an investigation, and that you need to purchase cryptocurrency to resolve the issue. They might also ask you to send your money to a wallet address for safety.
In addition to the hiring spree, Binance has hired a lawyer who used to work for the Justice Department’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, which is leading the investigation. The lawyer, Kendall Day, is a partner at Gibson Dunn, and he’s been meeting with Justice officials in Washington about the case. But he hasn’t yet been able to convince the agency to bring an action against Binance, three of the sources said.