US Federal Trade Commission To Host Workshop On Crypto Scams

Announcements, Education, News | May 1, 2018 By:

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it will host a free workshop in Chicago this summer to examine scams involving cryptocurrencies.

Titled “Decrypting Cryptocurrency Scams,” the workshop will explore how scammers are exploiting public interest in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Litecoin and will discuss ways to empower and protect consumers. The event will feature stakeholders from consumer advocacy groups, law enforcement, research organizations, and private sector businesses.

The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held on June 25 at DePaul University in Chicago. The workshop begins at 1 pm Central Time, and will also be broadcast live on the FTC’s website that day.

“As consumer interest in cryptocurrencies has grown, so has interest from scammers, who are always looking for new ways to take advantage of consumers,” the FTC said in a statement. “Scams involving cryptocurrencies include deceptive investment and business opportunities, bait-and-switch schemes, and deceptively marketed mining machines. The FTC has worked to educate consumers about cryptocurrencies and hold fraudsters accountable.”

In March of this year, the federal court of Florida’s southern district upheld the FTC’s request for a temporary restraining order against four individuals who allegedly promoted deceptive money-making schemes involving cryptocurrencies. These schemes falsely promised that participants could earn large returns by paying cryptocurrency such as bitcoin or Litecoin to enroll in the schemes.

During the same month, the FTC created a Blockchain Working Group to identify and target fraudulent schemes which affect the agency’s consumer protection and competition missions.

“We believe this working group is an important step to ensure the FTC can continue its missions to protect consumers and promote competition in light of cryptocurrency and blockchain developments,” FTC Acting Chief Technologist Neil Chilson said at the time.