The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) on Tuesday announced that it was joining with other members of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) in "Operation Cryptosweep," with the motive of eliminating cryptocurrency investment scams.
Operation Cryptosweep is a coordinated effort between approximately 40 states and provinces in the US and Canada, to warn the public about potential fraudulent schemes involving cryptocurrency, including scam ICOs.
In a press release, the BCSC declared that it had issued cease-and-desist letters to 12 unidentified offshore companies advertising their ICOs in British Columbia.
"Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to attract victims and many are taking advantage of the popularity of cryptocurrencies to perpetrate their schemes," said Doug Muir, director of enforcement at the BCSC.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is also joining in the crackdown, warning investors about five fraudulent companies.
"Operation Cryptosweep contributes to our ongoing efforts to raise awareness about potentially fraudulent activity involving cryptocurrency products," said Leslie Byberg, executive director of the OSC, on May 22. "To avoid investment fraud, investors should always check that they are dealing with a registered individual or firm and should carefully consider the risks associated with investing in this novel space."
One of the organizations the OSC is investigating is Cabin Coin OU, which is advertising an unregistered token sale for its "Cabin Token" with assurances that its value will increase over time. Other companies under investigation include BTCReal, BitSerial, Hypercube Ventures LP, and BaapPay Inc.
As ETHNews previously reported, Operation Cryptosweep is the outgrowth of a NASAA task force, created in April, to investigate fraudulent ICOs and related cryptocurrency investments, as well as educate the public about key investment risks.