A church group in Alabama fell victim to a couple of con artists. The scammers conned them out of their COVID-19 stimulus checks. In April, millions of people received $1200 checks from the federal government in COVID-19 relief.
Asic Bitpro and Elizabeth Cummings used social media to carry out the scam, according to the Alabama Securities Commission. They promised a return rate of 7,662 percent to 34,259 percent as a result of a cryptocurrency cloud plan. But the two pocketed the cash.
“Technology buzzwords, such as ‘cryptocurrency’, ‘cloud mining’, and ‘quantum computing’, are often exploited by fraudsters to take advantage of well-meaning investors,” ASC Director Joseph P. Borg told AL.com.
The state barred the two from operating securities businesses. Investigators flagged them for fraudulent claims, deceptive advertising and failing to register with the ASC. The scam had several red flags people should be generally wary about. No one can guarantee returns to investors, much less the large amounts the two promised the church group. Investment products and professionals must also register with the ASC, according to Alabama law.
The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert that verified Bitpro as an international fraud scheme. Potential investors should verify someone’s license and registry with the ASC. The ASC did not disclose details regarding the Alabama victims’ identities.
The federal government is proposing a second relief package, but Americans may not receive their stimulus checks until October, according to Newsweek.