The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued a warning to the public of possible fee scams and “get rich quick” schemes that aim to prey on the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the CFTC, fraudsters who claim to be “instant millionaires and Wall Street wizards” will target those who are working from home and those who have filed for unemployment.
The CFTC Whistleblower Program allows qualified whistleblowers to obtain monetary rewards through provisions similar to those found in other qui tam laws such as the False Claims Act and the IRS Whistleblower Program. Non-U.S. citizens can file for financial awards.
CFTC whistleblowers can file anonymously, and those who qualify for rewards can receive 10 to 30 percent of the sanctions collected by the CFTC if the enforcement action exceeds $1 million.
From the CFTC:
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission advises the public that unregistered brokers selling binary options, foreign exchange (forex) programs, and cryptocurrencies are targeting people who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak. The scams are primarily conducted on social media and via messaging apps. The fraudsters convince their victims they can earn unrealistically high profits from home, but later force the victims to pay excessive “fees” and “taxes” to get their supposed earnings. The profits are not real and the fraudsters disappear when the victims stop paying.
Read the CFTC statement: CFTC Customer Advisory: Beware of Fee Scams Targeting Workers Sidelined by COVID-19