Wisconsin is joining a multi state effort to crack down on shady cryptocurrency sales.
They’re called Initial Coin Offerings, and many of them have turned out to be scams. Those are “investment opportunities” where the makers of a cryptocurrency offer shares, much like a stock sale.
Department of Financial Institutions spokesman George Althoff says the problem is it’s only speculation and if something goes wrong, your money won’t be coming back. “Your money is gone, and because these are not regulated currencies, your chances of getting your investment back are slim to none.”
Althoff says the old adage about “if it sounds too good to be true” is something you should really consider with cryptocurrency. “You want to make sure the investment is on the up and up, so please do your homework.”
“Fraudulent activity involving ICOs and cryptocurrency-related investment products is a significant threat to Main Street investors in Wisconsin,” said Leslie Van Buskirk, Administrator of DFI’s Division of Securities. “Crypto-criminals need to know that DFI is committed to swiftly and effectively protecting investors from schemes and scams involving these products.”
Van Buskirk says the multi state “Operation Cryptosweep” investigated 70 ICOs and is prosecuting 34 cases in connection with those investigations.