What happens when scammers use a fake John McAfee twitter handle to promote a little-known token? The price pumps 50% before the insiders dump, leaving uninformed investors holding the bag. In this piece, Buzzfeed explores the wild west of ICO and crypto scams.
Last August, the Securities and Exchange Commission warned about cryptocurrency fraud and ICO-related scams on its public investor site, noting that bad actors engage “in market manipulation, such as by spreading false and misleading information about a company.” Still, it's only announced charges against one alleged ICO scam, and it’s unclear what government agency would have jurisdiction, or interest, in the pump and dumps that happen daily via Telegram groups. “There are frankly a lot of groups that have now centered around misinformation,” said Alberto. “It’s obviously illegal, but there’s no regulation and they’ve gotten away with it.”