New crypto investment scam shows up on TikTok

Photo (c) Patrik - Getty Images

Experts warn consumers to use good judgment when scrolling the app

A recent report had TikTok under fire for spreading misinformation in suggested videos on current news topics. Now, the social platform is the source of a new cryptocurrency investment scam

According to a report from the Better Business Bureau, scammers are using TikTok to lure users into a crypto scam. Content creators show off huge piles of money, enticing TikTok users that a similar fate awaits them if they invest in crypto.

The creator asks for money over Venmo or Zelle, which will then be invested on behalf of the TikTok user, and they promise to return three times as much as the original investment. 

However, before users can ever cash in on their investments, the scammers ask for “fees” for "help.". This is where things can get problematic.

There are reports of some scammers asking for these fees – which can be a few hundred dollars – several times, and they often try to make users feel that they’re always missing out on the next big investment if they ask for their money back.

Unfortunately, those who have fallen victim to this scam haven’t gotten their money back. This includes their original investment and any additional “fees” that they sent to scammers. 

Be vigilant on social media

Consumers who encounter any potential social media investment scams should report it to law enforcement and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Even if no money is personally lost, the more reports that are filed, the more awareness it creates of these pervasive scams. 

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office offers some tips for consumers who may spot an investment or money-flipping scam on social media. Research is key.

If you’re ever unsure about whether or not a video or post is a potential scam, search keywords in the post and see what comes up. Oftentimes, other users who have gotten scammed have shared their experiences, or important information about the scam is available online. 

They also warn consumers not to trust posts that come from friends or acquaintances on social media. Sometimes their accounts have been hacked, so just because someone you know is sharing something about investing or making money, doesn’t mean it actually came from that person. 

Ultimately, consumers should trust their instincts and avoid giving in to threats from scammers. If something doesn’t look right or looks too good to be true, that’s often a sign that it is indeed a scam.

Additionally, any social media user who pressures you to send them money or threatens legal action is likely hiding behind the scam. Vigilance is key when scrolling through social media.

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