Buying or selling bitcoin in a peer-to-peer environment has become quite appealing in recent years. Unfortunately, this experience had not always been pleasant, as several people have had their cryptocurrency stolen in the process. Below are three different stories illustrating how in-person bitcoin trades can go awry rather quickly. Do keep in mind this type of behavior is rather uncommon, albeit one can never take enough precautions.
3. Dutch OTC Trader Robbed
In December of 2016, a new post surfaced on the Dutch subforum on Bitcointalk. As it turns out, the user was looking to trade cash in exchange for bitcoin. Meeting at a local KFC restaurant seemed like a safe idea, yet the meeting was moved to a local McDonald’s. This is when things started to go wrong for the OTC trader and his friend, who brought the cash.
While the seller and buyer met up at McDonald’s, the person holding the cash was assaulted by four men. These four individuals are believed to be part of a gang related to the person claiming to sell bitcoin. Although the post in question is a bit vague, it goes to show that even bringing a friend with you while buying or selling bitcoin in person carries significant risks. It is unclear how much money was lost in the process.
2. LocalBitcoins Trade Results in Robbery
Meeting strangers you met on the internet can have all kinds of dangerous consequences. For one Reddit user, things went from bad to worse while conducting a trade with someone acting on the LocalBitcoins platform. It appears the buyer was offering a barter trade in the form of a pair of headphones. On paper, this sounds like a genuine trade proposal, as there is always someone who has a use for this object in exchange for a small amount of bitcoin.
Unfortunately, that is not how things worked out. The bitcoin seller checked out the headphones in question and sent the bitcoins to the owner of the item. Once that transaction completed, the headphones owner took off with the product and was never heard from again. Although the bitcoins were lost in the end, the community came through to help the victim out. A valuable lesson was learned in the process, that much is certain.
1. Trading Bitcoins At Gunpoint
For one New York man, a trade worth US$1,100 in bitcoin nearly ended up costing him his life. On May 27, 2015, the man went to a street corner to meet someone from Craigslist looking to buy his bitcoins. Completing the transaction could not be done in the middle of the street, so the bitcoin seller took the seller to his car. As it turns out, there was someone else sitting in the backseat, who held the bitcoin seller at gunpoint.
These two individuals forced the bitcoin owner to transfer the funds to their wallet. Moreover, the seller was forced to hand over his cellphone, after which they drove off and disappeared. Getting killed over a bitcoin transaction is not worth it by any means, yet that does not mean one should pretend it never happened. To this day, the perpetrators have not been apprehended, indicating there is very little law enforcement officials can do when this type of crime occurs.
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