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Crypto scams expected to be Arizona's biggest investment threat this year

Cryptocurrency scams topped the Arizona Corporation Commission's list for the biggest investor threats foreseen in 2022.

PHOENIX — The Arizona Corporation Commission is predicting cryptocurrency-related fraud will be the biggest threat to local investors in 2022. 

In its annual list of top investor threats, the commission ranked crypto-related swindles as the most prevalent menace for investors this year.  

“Stories of ‘crypto millionaires’ enticed many investors to delve into cryptocurrencies or crypto-related investments last year, and with that, many stories of those who bet big and lost big began appearing, and we anticipate they will continue to appear in 2022,” ACC Chairwoman Lea Marquez-Peterson said. 

The commission urges local investors to be vigilant about salesmen soliciting investments online and to check whether investments firms are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission

Arizona law obligates individuals offering investments to truthfully disclose all material facts, including the risks associated with the investment. 

The commission has recently attempted to penalize securities salesmen who tried to oversell investments in cryptocurrency.

In October, the commission ordered a Phoenix man to pay $155,000 in restitution for fraudulently selling an unregistered cryptocurrency investment. 

The commission found Mario Sosa allegedly touted investment returns of more than 300%, yet failed to disclose the risks associated with cryptocurrency.

The commission issued a cease-and-desist letter in 2020 to a Nigerian citizen accused of stealing the identity of an Arizona registered securities dealer to sell crypto investments on their pirated website. 

Last year, social media-based frauds topped the commission's list for the biggest investment threats.

More information on how to make safe investments can be found on the commission's website.

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