The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning of fraudulent cryptocurrency applications, which the agency says have defrauded U.S. investors out of nearly $43 million so far.
Head of Republic Crypto Andrew Durgee weighed in Wednesday, two days after the public warning was issued by the FBI, arguing the agency’s cyber division will continue to help protect retail individuals throughout the country.
Speaking on “Mornings with Maria,” Durgee said he expects to see more scams as crypto continues to gain traction.
“I think that scams are going to continue to happen just like they do in other aspects of tech, whether that’s from email fraud to credit card fraud,” Durgee said. “This is just another avenue for bad actors to try to take advantage of retail individuals.”
“Actually I like the FBI being more and more involved,” he continued. “I think their digital securities group is becoming more and more active and it’s going to help protect individuals throughout the U.S.”
According to the advisory released Monday by the FBI, cybercriminals have been creating fraudulent crypto investment apps to exploit legitimate investments, defrauding investors and harming the reputations of investment firms in the U.S.
The agency noted that cybercriminals have been “trying to take advantage of the increased interest in mobile banking and cryptocurrency investing” and that 244 people have already fallen victim to the scam. The FBI warned that the criminals use the names, logos and other identifying information of legitimate companies and have even created fake websites with the information.
|BITQ||EXCHANGE TRADED CONCEPTS TRUST BITWISE CRYPTO INNOVATORS E||7.96||+0.34||+4.46%|
|COIN||COINBASE GLOBAL INC.||71.75||+5.92||+8.99%|
On Wednesday, bitcoin was trading higher around the $23,800 level, up from its low of $17,601.58 last month but down from its all-time high of over $68,000 in November 2021. Ethereum was also trading higher on Wednesday at around $1,602.
The crypto market has experienced volatility recently from a number of factors, including soaring inflation, which now sits at fresh 40-year highs, and rate hikes from the Federal Reserve aimed at trying to curb the price spikes.
Durgee noted Wednesday that as regulation develops for the industry, “it’s going to continue to carve out areas that are problematic.” For that reason, he is “very open to regulation.”
He also pointed out that market fluctuations have caused “a lot of the lower quality projects or some of the nefarious actors to fall out or lose their operating capital.”
“And so now we have a little bit of sunlight to move through the next phase of this industry, which is super exciting,” he continued.