Consumer Bureau Highlights Crypto Asset Complaints

Advocate Andy

New bulletin from key regulator details rise in number of complaints in cryptocurrency industry

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new report highlighting key complaints in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry.

Consumers most commonly reported being victimized by frauds, theft, account hacks, and scams. Consumers also had issues with executing transactions and transferring assets between exchanges. Many consumers had issues with accessing funds in their account due to outright platform failures, identity verification issues, security holds, or because of technical issues with platforms.

In a statement, the CFPB said fraud and lack of access to funds are key concerns.

“Our analysis of consumer complaints suggests that bad actors are leveraging crypto-assets to perpetrate fraud on the public,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Americans are also reporting transaction problems, frozen accounts, and lost savings when it comes to crypto-assets. People should be wary of anyone seeking upfront payment in crypto-assets, since this may be a scam. We will continue our work to keep the payments system safe from fraudsters targeting Americans.”

The CFPB notes that scammers often target crypto-assets since it can be difficult to determine the person or people behind many crypto-asset addresses, and there are a number of techniques scammers use to obscure the movement of crypto-assets to other accounts. This can make tracing crypto-assets stolen by fraudsters more time consuming for regulators and law enforcement.

The top complaints related to crypto transactions include fraud and scams.

The CFPB notes:

"For about 40% of crypto-asset complaints handled since October 2018, consumers listed frauds and scams as the main issue. Various transactional issues with crypto-assets accounted for about 25 percent of complaints, while issues with assets not being available when promised made up about 16% of complaints."

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

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