Bittrex is committed to fighting financial crime through a strong culture of compliance, as well as educating and protecting our current and future customers when new trends emerge. On February 7, 2022, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission published a public advisory that includes warnings about the rise of “romance scams” involving virtual currency.

Initial contact is made through dating apps, social media, or ‘wrong numbers’ made through private messaging apps. The fraudsters commonly pose as executives, business owners, or successful financiers and use extensive social media personas to support their stories. They often share pictures of home-cooked meals and pets, and research the cities they’re supposedly from so they can reference restaurants and other sites. In a short amount of time, they are calling or texting daily, and using endearing language, but are too shy or unable to video chat or meet in person.”

Often, the scammer will lead the victim on over weeks or months to believe they are in a personal relationship to gain trust.

“Victims are commonly encouraged to start small. The fraudsters may also walk them through a successful withdrawal to demonstrate the fraudulent broker or website can be trusted. Then, victims are nudged to invest more. Eventually, the victims may be faced with opportunities that require large investments… After making significant investments, even as much as tens of thousands of dollars it becomes impossible to make withdrawals.

Some Tips for Bittrex Customers and the Public:

  • Think about how well you actually know anyone you meet online before providing personal details, account access, or transferring money.
  • Never send money, trade, or invest per the advice of someone you have solely met online.
  • Do not disclose your current financial status to unknown and untrusted individuals.
  • Do not provide your banking information, Social Security Number, copies of your identification, or any other sensitive information to anyone online or to a site you do not know is legitimate.
  • If an investment or trading site is promoting unbelievable profits, it is most likely a scam.
  • Be cautious of individuals who claim to have exclusive investment opportunities and urge you to act fast.
  • Before making any investment, talk it over with a financial advisor, trusted friend, or family member.
  • Watch out for any new “friends” or acquaintances made by vulnerable family members.
  • Keep your account secure by following these steps.
  • You can search for legitimate, registered virtual currency exchanges at Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or with your state using the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System.