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South Koreans discouraged from attending cryptocurrency investment briefings

Attending face-to-face crypto investment briefings could expose citizens to fraud risks as well as the of becoming infected with Covid-19.

Image by tingyaoh from Pixabay

Tue, 08 Sep 2020, 09:03 am UTC

South Korean authorities have warned the public against attending cryptocurrency investment briefings. Aside from the increased risk of coronavirus transmission, the government warned that such crypto gatherings could expose citizens to potential fraud risks.

Cryptocurrency investment briefings have been attracting South Koreans since 2017, Segye.com reported. Lately, these sessions tend to be smaller in size, more informal, and conducted indoors due to the social distancing measures in place.

The trend became a source of concern for South Korean authorities as these smaller crypto gatherings can increase the risk of Covid-19 transmission. In addition, scammers might use these crypto briefings to target unsuspecting victims. In fact, the number of companies with crypto-related complaints filed at the Financial Supervisory Service last year rose to 48 from last the previous year’s 44 firms, which suggests that scammers have ramped up their illegal activities as well.

One case involved a session arranged by the Muhan Group, described as an “unregistered door-to-door sales company,” according to Cryptonews.com. The report claimed that the company seems to be a OneCoin-type multilevel marketing scam using crypto assets.

Last month’s Muhan Group event held in the Gwanak District of Seoul was attended by a large group number of investors. The gathering resulted in 83 Covid-19 positive cases among its participants, which prompted authorities to issue a warning.

“This appears to be a cryptoasset-related company,” quarantine authorities said. “Please do not attend investment-related sessions.”

With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, South Korea’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission, likewise issued a similar warning to investors. “General citizens should stay at their homes as much as possible in accordance with the COVID-19 quarantine guidelines and refrain from attending small meetings and investment briefings,” the FSC warned.

With the rise of investment fraud, the commission wants the public to report any case as soon as possible. “In the event of a fraud or similar reception, you must immediately report it to the Financial Supervisory Service's Illegal Private Financial Damage Report Center (☎1332),” the financial regulator reminded.

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