Up until a few days ago, FTX was a very popular cryptocurrency exchange that attracted an estimated million investors.  It was touted on television commercials by many celebrities including Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Stephen Curry, Shacquille O’Neal, Naomi Osaka and even Larry David in a Super Bowl commercial earlier this year.  Unfortunately, FTX recently filed for bankruptcy and is being investigated for numerous fraud charges including accusations that it was nothing more than a Ponzi scam.

Desperate investors are now being targeted through emails and phony Department of Justice websites that claim that if they just pay some legal fees, the FTC customers would be able to withdraw all of their funds.  This is nothing more than a scam intended to lure people into paying for worthless services.  The filing of bankruptcy by FTX froze their assets and customers are not able to access their accounts at this time.


As I have mentioned many times previously, you should never invest in anything that you do not fully understand.  Cryptocurrency scams quite often involve complicated language and investment terms that is purposefully unclear in an effort to confuse potential investors from understanding the real facts.  You also should not invest in anything without investigating the people offering the investments.  You can go to http://www.investor.gov to learn about the licensing and registration status of someone offering to sell you investments.   In addition, as always, if the investment sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Facebook for a time banned all advertisements promoting cryptocurrencies due to the plethora of cryptocurrency scams, but has reversed this position and now does accept ads for cryptocurrencies. Some of the things to be on the lookout for in regard to cryptocurrency scams are promises of high, guaranteed returns on your investment, false claims of being SEC compliant, allowing you to invest using your credit card and pump and dump scams.

As for websites claiming to be affiliated with the United States Justice Department promising to be able to return your money after the payment of “legal fees” they are completely bogus.  There is no charge to creditors of bankruptcies to file claims.  As for being able to determine if a website is legitimate or not, the Google Safe Browsing Transparency Report is a terrific free service where you can type in the URL and learn if Google’s research indicates it is a scam.  Here is a link to it. https://transparencyreport.google.com/safe-browsing/search

You can also use Whois.com which is a free service that will tell you who owns a particular URL and how long it has been in service.  If your Department of Justice website has only been around six months and is owned by someone in Nigeria, it certainly is a scam.  Here is a link to Whois  https://whois.domaintools.com/

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