An Indian businessman from New Delhi fell victim to yet another bitcoin scam, where he paid $130,000 for bitcoins that did not exist.
How the scam worked
The businessman (who wished to remain anonymous) met the scammer in 2017 during a bank visit. The scammer claimed to be working for one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. The victim was then encouraged by the scammer to invest in bitcoins, which he could offer at reasonable rates and which he can generate substantial profits with.
The victim then bought a bitcoin for Rs. 5.4 lakh or approximately $8,000 after much persuasion from the scammer. The victim then received a text message claiming the transaction’s success and that he was now the owner of 1BTC.
The victim then sold his digital asset a month later for Rs. 6 lakh, or roughly $8,894, generating a profit, which was enough for him to trust the legitimacy of the transaction, the salesman and the bitcoin.
The victim was undeniably under the impression that he had generated a good profit in only a month and agreed with the scammer’s new offer—buy and hold a bitcoin for three months and get a 50% profit in return.
The victim immediately agreed and bought a BTC for Rs. 6.5 lakh or $10,000, and sold it after three months for Rs 9.75 lakh or $14,459. The victim was then given another bigger offer, but here’s the catch—the bitcoins did not really exist and the victim did not really buy them.
The scammer simply made the victim believe that he owned a bitcoin, when the truth is, all he had was a confirmation text message and nothing else.
The suspicions growth
For the last transaction, the scammer told the victim to purchase 10 BTC worth Rs. 91 lakh or $134,954 in exchange for a guaranteed profit 20 days later.
As the victim completely trusted the legitimacy of the transaction and the salesman, he proceeded to borrow money from friends and family to complete the transaction.
And this is when the tables turned.
After the victim paid, the scammer fled immediately leaving no trace about his identity and whereabouts. The victim went even as far as visiting the scammer’s supposed company offices in New Delhi, only to find out it was fake.