Fraudulent ICO offerings have become a serious problem in China, with new concerns participants could even face death.

As local news source 8btc reports this week, the ICO phenomenon causing a sensation throughout the crypto world could have dire consequences for unwitting Chinese investors.

The portal cites two Chinese exchanges, which issued warnings distancing themselves from involvement with non-bonafide token sales.

While phrased as useful insights for potential investors, the notices also serve to reiterate their status as fully above board in terms of regulation adherence.

One exchange, BTC38, said it “will not list any newly-issued ICO assets” even if it appears they have been classified as legitimate.

“It’s one of the principle of BTC38 not to be the first exchange for any cryptocurrency or assets,” 8btc’s translation of its message states.

The message was repeated by Yunbi, which sought to clamp down on projects claiming partnerships with the service, none of which exist.

“Recently, the ICO market is extremely heated, some of the ICO projects use "Collaborate with YUNBI" to advertise their projects which seriously misleads the investors,” a blog post states.

Unofficial public fundraising not strictly conforming to finance laws in China can lead to death sentences, with both investors and ICO organizers potential targets.

Cointelegraph reminds readers to always perform thorough research before investing in a company with cryptocurrency.