Trader claims to lose $310K on dodgy exchange pitched in LinkedIn request

The NFT Unicorn 1c790f5e-4873-4a77-a149-375a31bca705 Trader claims to lose $310K on dodgy exchange pitched in LinkedIn request Crypto News

An investor claims to have lost $310,000 to an allegedly fraudulent crypto trading platform after learning about it from an unsolicited LinkedIn connection request.

A consumer alert from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Securities Division on June 13 said the investor had been using a purported crypto trading platform called “Ethfinance.”

“The investor learned of Ethfinance through a random friend request on LinkedIn,” the DFI said. It added the investor transferred a total of $310,000 from his “DeFi wallet” to the platform in hopes of earning profits from crypto trading.

Alleged fraudulent exchange EthFinance’s website is currently still online. Source: Eth-Finance

When he attempted to withdraw some of his initial principal and reported profits, the investor was told he needed to add more funds in order to complete the “smart contract” and then withdraw funds. 

“The investor did not send any additional funds. The investor has been unable to withdraw any funds from his account, and his account is locked,” the DFI said.

The regulator said the case appears to be an “Advance Fee Fraud,” though it stated it had not verified the allegations.

Advance fee fraud is a type of scam that promises victims significant amounts of money, products or services in exchange for a small upfront payment.

Once paid, the scammer either entices the victim to send more fees for other things — or just disappears.

Related: FTC issues urgent warning over rising crypto romance scams

Washington DFI’s crypto scam tracker shows the platform has also been mentioned in a previous complaint, with a California resident reporting they lost over $165,000 after meeting a stranger online who offered to teach them how to make money trading crypto options.

The NFT Unicorn 1f5a2cd7-ffa2-45cc-bdae-cbd9f9d118c5 Trader claims to lose $310K on dodgy exchange pitched in LinkedIn request Crypto News
Washington DFI’s crypto scam tracker results for ETH Finance. Source: Washington DFI

The investor realized it was a scam when they were asked by the “CEO of Crypto Customer Service” on Telegram to send 25% of the profits as “taxes” in order to complete the withdrawal. 

The Washington DFI also posted three more alerts on June 13. Two were for allegedly fraudulent crypto exchanges, and the other concerned a fraudulent investment management platform.

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