Samples of Scammers
Life is bigger than you, and you are not me.
First off, I should let you all know that I'm planning to get more BTC on Monday (3/14/14), but I'm on "selling vacation" until then.
Tragedy and Hope Magazine (at tragedyandhope.com) led me to Gnostic Media's work on "The Trivium Mehod" of learning anything without any help. The first step is to identify things in a way that makes them recognizable. To that end, one of my readers suggested that I share the transcript of one of his trades.
The point of the R.E.M. quote is something scammers don't get. If they understood that other people are aware of things the scammer doesn't know, they'd give up more quickly, and save themselves a lot of pain. Some of us feel like The Catcher in the Rye, and in order to help save others from harm, we hide the fact that we know (or strongly suspect) when we're dealing with a scammer. We will entertain possible routes to a good trade and avoid pointing out what demands we will make when the time comes to protect ourselves. In short, we waste their time. It's a waste only if they're a scammer, see? Sometimes I go on and on about all this honesty vs dishonesty stuff through text messaging. It's fun, its educational for both parties, it invites the scammer to go legit, and it protects other potential victims by slowing him (or her!) down. Like what I'm doing now... Oh, sorry! So on to the sample. This is from a localbitcoins trade a friend of mine tried:
Scammer: Hello I am going to the bank before they close today to make cash deposit. Thanks!
Scammer: Can you please get me the account details thanks.
Me: Cash deposit only through BANK NAME; My Name Acct# ########## Send a picture of the receipt through an attachment here when finished, once I confirm the cash is in the bank, I will release the Bitcoin. Thanks. What time are you going?
Scammer: Within the hour thanks.
Scammer: Hey what is the city and state, zip code to use for deposit?
Me: State, town, zip
Scammer: Hey... I JUST made the deposit for $1000 at the bank. Right now I don't have cameraphone right now (my iphone 5 got stolen) so I am going to try to go to the library and see if I can scan it there. If you can confirm it on your end for me that would be great. Please let me know thanks.
Me: Okay, but I need a copy of the receipt before I can release.
Me: The deposit is not showing up.
Scammer: My library is closed. The transaction # on receipt is ###########, 2-08-2014 3:49pm Saturday please confirm on your end. I won't be able to get the slip attached until Monday.
Scammer: It was a CASH deposit. Please confirm this on your end thanks.
Me: The deposit is not showing up, I just checked. it's not there.
Scammer: You don't see it? It was made at 3:49 the receipt number I have is #####.
Scammer: I have a friend with a Galaxy phone but he doesn't get off work until 10. I will try to get a picture of the receipt then. But the deposit WAS made.
Me: No, it is not there. I'll check again.
Me: I will hold the coins until the deposit shows up, no worries, but I can't release until I have proof the money is there.
Scammer: I'm calling the bank to see if they can confirm the deposit I'll let you know what they say in a few minutes.
Scammer: And that's fine I don't expect anyone to send coin without confirming it on their end first. No worries.
Me: Where did you deposit it, what city and branch?
Me: I can try and track it down.
Scammer: Yah the bank said they can't look it up over the phone for me. They said it would take some time to show up on online banking but you can call and confirm it with them. It was for $1000 even.
Scammer: Burlington, NC
Scammer: 1-800-###-#### you can call and confirm it with someone over the phone might be easier for you.
Me: I called them, they said there is no deposit showing, it would have showed up there if there was one. They also said there was no Wells Fargo branch open in or around Burlington past 1PM, and had me look it up on the locator: https://www.wellsfargo.com/locator/search/?searchTxt=burlington+north+carolina&mlflg=N&sgindex=99&chflg=N&_bo=on&_wl=on&_os=on&_bdu=on&_adu=on&_ah=on&_sdb=on&_not=on&_fe=on&_ss=on
Me: There is no deposit pending either.
Scammer: It closed at 430... let me get the receipt for you tonight. Thanks.
Me: Where is the receipt? You were supposed to have it at 10PM. The money is still not in my account. I want to believe you are honestly trying to trade Bitcoin, but I have been scammed before, and this looks like a scam. Tomorrow I will file a dispute. If the money makes it into my account, I will release the Bitcoin, even after the dispute is filed, if not, it is up to LBC. I am going to sleep now, I'm not waiting any longer for the receipt tonight I do recognize this could be a bank hold, and I hope that is the case, but I called the bank, and they said there is no deposit, you have provided no receipt, and that was explicitly explained in my directions from the get go, cash deposit only, need the receipt and the deposit to post. Hopefully, this is just a bank hold and Monday I can release the coins to you, because you really did pay.
Me: All the information is in this message thread. I would like to believe that this is a banking hold, but have not heard from the buyer since yesterday afternoon. I cannot give BTC away, just want to fairly trade. When I called the bank, they said the system was updated and there was no deposit. Hopefully the deposit will appear tomorrow and I can release the coins, but without a receipt, transaction number, etc., I have no information to follow anything up with. If the funds appear, I would like to cancel this trade and start another exact trade so my trading stats are not affected, as they are an important metric of trust when trading, unless there is another way to fix that issue. If anything further is needed from me, let me know. Thank you.
Scammer: I gave you the transaction number already. I also gave you the exact date and time of the transaction. It shouldn't be an issue finding it on your end.
Scammer: You can release the bitcoin or wait because I am not going to cancel this transaction. I put $1000 in and now the bank is bullshit. Never had this happen before with other banks. Seems like this bank likes to "lose" peoples deposits for a while.
Me: Please send a copy of the receipt, as it is obviously a problem.
Me: I have never had this problem with the bank either. I will check in the morning.
Scammer: I can get the receipt when the library opens tomorrow. Right now I have no way of doing it.
Scammer: I'll cancel the order if you will release half the btc now and send the other half when you confirm with the bank. If not I will keep this transaction pending until it is figured out. Up to you.
Scammer: BTC ADDRESS if you want to do it that way that's fine with me I will cancel the order now.
Me: You provided me with this number: ###########, and they say there is no such transaction. I believe you, but I need all the details and a copy of the receipt to take to them if there was a banking error.
Scammer: So that's tomorrow then. I will leave it open until I can attach the slip. I should of kept my cash and got a new iphone instead of trying to buy BTC.
Me: Listen, as long as the cash was paid, and you get me the information to track it down (a copy of the receipt), I will track it down and get you the bitcoin, but I cannot release the BTC until I know the money is there. I am sorry for the delay, but there are scams out there. I want to see you get the BTC and me get the $1000, is why I trade. This is not fun for me. If the money is there and all is legit, if we do a future trade, I will reward you with .02 BTC for being honest and helping me work through this.
scammer: Fair enough. Thanks.
Other than the parts I italicized, the damning part of this is not present here. After LBC resolved the dispute, my friend never received any information from the scammer that would suggest he discovered the problem. You might see a possibility that my friend is the scammer, and LBC should not have sided with him. However, the other guy never produced the receipt. If he made an innocent $1000 mistake by discarding the receipt, I'd consider it an inexpensive lesson (yes, I meant inexpensive - he's buying $1000 of bitcoin, right?). There are fake receipts too, though, and if my friend saw no deposit to his account, and he got a receipt, then he'd have to start sending LBC screenshots of his online banking session. In the end, if either of them keeps trading and the scammer keeps scamming, his rep will eventually show it. In the worst cases, some of us have to suffer in order to prove the depravity of others. Fortunately, this wasn't a worst case scenario.