Bulletin staff report

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services is investigating complaints related to Coinbase, the digital currency exchange.

“The important message right now is to be cautious before investing in cryptocurrency, and do not invest any money that you cannot afford to lose,” spokesman Brad Hilliard said Wednesday.

Consumers who’ve complained said they faced delays getting help from Coinbase, which is licensed in Oregon as a money transmitter, Hilliard said.

Some of the complainants saw money drained from their Coinbase accounts. Those incidents appear to be caused by identity thieves targeting individuals rather than a data breach at Coinbase, Hilliard said.

The department also received two complaints from consumers who faced delays in selling their digital currency, Hilliard said.

“People interested in investing in cryptocurrency should treat it as a commodity, like gold,” he said. “It should not be treated as a liquid investment.”

The department’s consumer advocates can be reached toll-free at 866-814-9710.

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