After losing $8,000 in an altcoin scam, one man started a group that hunts down crypto frauds

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Crypto wallet
  • After falling victim to a fraud scheme, Robert Browning is hunting crypto scammers, according to a Bloomberg article. 
  • The 52-year-old started a group called RugSeekers to find frauds and alert the public to them.
  • His warnings to the public, though, aren’t much in the vast crypto world, he said.  

Robert Browning hunts crypto scammers. 

In a Bloomberg article titled “How Crypto Vigilantes Are Hunting Scams in a $US100 ($AU140) Billion Market,” the 52-year-old from southern Indiana explained how he went from scammed to scam hunter.

Browning told Bloomberg he became a fraud victim on July 11 when a bet he made on a coin called Altex plummeted from $US8,200 ($AU11,452) to $US86 ($AU120), and he got that feeling “where you can’t swallow, because you feel so used and so rejected.”

The occurrence caused him to start a group of crypto fraud hunters called the RugSeekers, who find scam coins through group chats on places like Telegram and then spread the word on social media, Bloomberg wrote. 

RugSeekers did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. On its website, it allows people to submit requests for the group to investigate a crypto contract that they think may be suspicious.

“We are a professional, diligent, and experienced team committed to helping eliminate fraud and corruption from the crypto space,” the group said on its site. “The RugSeeker team was born out of our own experience with loss and is dedicated to rid investors of that very thing.” 

One crypto Browning went after was called “We Save Moon.” According to Bloomberg’s detailed recounting of his Telegram conversations regarding the coin, he tried to ask the moderators questions about the coin and was eventually removed from the group. He posted a warning on Twitter, which got about 4,000 impressions, but he said that’s “nothing” in the grand scheme of the crypto world.

Even so, the group is working to fill a void in the crypto world, where regulatory bodies in the US have warned about a lack of coverage. In August, Gary Gensler, the head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said the crypto world is “rife” with fraud and scams.

“Right now, we just don’t have enough investor protection in crypto,” he said in a speech to Congress. “Frankly, at this time, it’s more like the Wild West.”