About a week ago, two Belarusians Bitcoin users were scammed for nearly 400,000 euros. After agreeing to exchange 500 Bitcoin to this unusually high amount – which is far above the current market price – it turns out they received a suitcase full of counterfeit money. Local police officials were alerted, and promptly launched an investigation.
Counterfeit Bills Are A Threat To P2P Bitcoin Trades
Things started going from bad to worse for these two Belarusian users one they found a business partner to complete the Bitcoin transaction. It is rather strange to meet a buyer in Italy, although the prospect of cashing in on a 400,000 Euro trade may warrant such drastic measures.
When both individuals attempted to sell their 500 Bitcoin in one go, they knew it would be difficult to find a genuine buyer. Big was their surprise when somebody in Italy agreed to pay 400,000 Euro for the batch. Even more so when considering the price per Bitcoin at that time was under 700 Euro, and this buyer paid a 12% premium to purchase the coins.
After meeting up with the buyer at a pub in Como, Italy, both Bitcoin users were pleased to see him carry a suitcase full of money. That alone raises a lot of questions, as very few people have such amounts of cash on hand these days. Additionally, it is a significant risk to conduct cash transactions, even when the meeting takes place in public.
Once the Belarusians transferred their 500 Bitcoin to the buyer, the suitcase changed hands, and the deal was concluded. However, it didn’t take long for the Bitcoin users to note only six banknotes were real, whereas the rest were all counterfeit bills. Instead of walking away with 400,000 Euro, they only had 3,000 Euro to show for their efforts.
The only course of action was to alert the police, who promptly launched an investigation into the matter. The identity of this fraudster remains unknown, but the officials are hopeful they can track down this individual. It is always a risk to deal with unknown entities to complete a Bitcoin trade, particularly when cash is involved.
Bitcoin buyers and sellers should always ensure the other party has nothing but honest intentions. Following one’s gut feeling can go a long way, and any trade that doesn’t sit right should be avoided. When conducting significant cash transactions, make sure to inspect the money first, and never meet in non-public places. Safety is the number one priority at all times.
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