“Money is money, as long as money rules the world you must always be careful!” In a comment it says on the difficult story of a Londoner in the forum of Localbitcoins. Two days ago he wanted to use the platform to sell a few Bitcoins in a physical place – with unexpected consequences.
An alternative to online platforms
Localbitcoins.com is not yet available in Germany, but the service has gained popularity especially in China, where payouts have been frozen on two large Bitcoin exchanges. Bitcoins can be traded on the platform through an escrow, which is a double secured account that requires the agreement of both merchants to transfer the Bitcoins. The following story took place in the United Kingdom.
Around 3,500 British Pounds for Cryptosoft
The user “josoj” opened today a thread in the support area of the cryptosoft website: https://www.onlinebetrug.net/en/cryptosoft/. There, the young Brit explained that he wanted to meet another user at Euston station. Agreed trading volume: 3,500 British pounds (almost 4,100 euros). Not little money!
In a café nearby it should come to trade. josoj got a call from his trading partner, who now wanted to buy for 6,200 pounds (about 7,250 euros). The trader’s girlfriend was supposed to do the trading, josoj agreed.
Arriving at the café, josoj met the young woman and both sat down at a table. She handed him the promised money in a blue envelope. When he checked it with a counterfeit money marker and counted it, she assured him: “Baby, the money is all right, don’t worry”.
According to one statement, it was also the right amount and not counterfeit money. Now josoj transferred the 7.09201800 Bitcoins to the escrow address – up to here the trade seemed to run reasonably. No conspicuous features!
“I must hold the money!
While he was doing the transaction, he put the bag with the money under one of his legs. The woman became more and more nervous and told him in a half loud voice: “I have to hold the money”. josoj was surprised, explained to her how a Bitcoin trade works and suggested that she call her friend. Since her cell phone battery was supposedly empty, he called the friend and informed him about the unjustified nervousness of his girlfriend.
“I want to hear what he says,” she probably said in a brash tone as she tried to rip the phone out of his hand. josoj noticed that something was wrong and that he was about to be robbed. The woman had scratched josoj while he was desperately holding on to his mobile phone and shouted, “Help! I am being robbed”.
A man with a grey hoodie is said to have stood up from one of the tables and helped the woman. When josoj held the money, both of them were said to have hit him until he let go. Both fled with the money, josoj went to the hospital and made a statement to the police.
The robber later contacted josoj again and asked him to release the escrow, as they apparently had not yet left Localbitcoins. The police followed the multiple threatening calls, although Localbitcoins.com is said not to have contacted the user yet, but apparently the police will also contact the platform.
The story is being hotly debated in forums and social media platforms. Allegedly, a similar story happened on that day in London at a different time.
With the increasing popularity of crypto currencies, the number of fraudsters is also rising. Not only so-called Scam-Coins pull the money out of people’s pockets, now apparently also lower criminals enrich themselves at the technological progress.