Portuguese law enforcement agencies are planning a crackdown on social media influencers who are providing cryptocurrency investment advice, according to a report by local media outlet Expresso.
The judicial police of the country have taken an interest in the influencers after thousands of Portuguese signed an online petition and are now analyzing the content of the YouTubers, among influencers on other social media platforms for finding illegal activities.
Promoting cryptocurrencies is not a crime, especially in a country where digital currencies are not banned.
“I am not sure what kind of illegality is there. We are trying to understand the case better. But, I remember that buying bitcoins is not considered a crime in itself, ” said an anonymous source who confirmed that there is still no formal investigation.
The authorities are particularly looking into the indirect crypto scams as many influencers promote fake giveaways. The report further outlined that the police investigated a YouTuber who took money from people with false promises but assured to return the funds after admitting wrongdoings.
Scams Are on Rampant
The crypto market is known for harboring many scams which often target gullible victims with promises of high returns. From OneCoin to PlusToken, crypto scammers have siphoned off billions of dollars.
“More and more common in our country, these types of schemes have some aspects in common that are easily identified, such as highly attractive with the promise of getting rich quickly and usually practiced by influencers, who are using their influence and/or exhibiting luxuries, ” the petition, signed by 14,299 people, read.
“Moreover, the clear later sale of courses and/or use of the affiliate system and through this system promoting brokers with enormous leverage that allow the dishonest enrichment of these scammers at the expense of huge losses on the part of the scammed people.”
Twitter most recently suspended several accounts of top cryptocurrency influencers that sparked outrage within the crypto community.