Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology that is changing the world every day by enabling the every day person to truly manage their finances. Unfortunately there are people out there who are taking advantage of the fact that Bitcoin is not reversible by requesting money be sent to them for things and never delivering on their promise.
We want to do our part to help! While our general rule of thumb is to never buy bitcoin for anything outside of your own personal use we know there are times legitimate businesses will want to accept payment in crypto. With that being said if you ever think there’s a chance that you’re not being dealt with honestly, I would imagine that it probably isn’t something that should be invested in or money sent to. After all, with Bitcoin, once it leaves your wallet it isn’t coming back unless someone sends it back to you.
Have you been offered to buy a car but the offer sounds way too good to be true? It may be! This threat is best described by having you send Bitcoin or any other form of value to buy a car then the seller will deliver it. We highly recommend against this course of action for the fact that once you’ve sent Bitcoin there is no guarantee they will actually deliver on their side of the bargain and Bitcoin is not reversible. To make matters work scammers will often use reputable brands representing themselves as eBay Motors, Craigslist or Cars.com and ask for your money. If you believe you have been contacted by someone that may be attempting to scam you please contact the platform directly to ensure that this offer is actually valid.
Have you been offered an apartment or condo rental in exchange for Bitcoin? Might want to hold off until you contact your property directly! In this threat someone will offer a rental property in exchange for Bitcoin but once you send them money you end up never hearing from them again. Just like with our Auto Scams we covered above the scammer may even act as a trusted party like AirBNB or another reputable brand even if the said brand doesn’t even offer this payment themselves. We always recommend reaching out to the customer service of any platform before sending payment or contacting the property directly to work out a contract for your rental before sending any funds. Once again if you send Bitcoin you can not force it to come back to you!
Debt Collector Scam
Have you been contacted by someone requesting you pay a debt in Bitcoin? This could also be a scam. While debt collectors may call you, and depending on the company, may even accept Bitcoin as a terms of payment this could also be a scammer. If you do end up sending someone Bitcoin to pay a debt you can not reverse that transaction. It will be sent and if the person you sent it to wasn’t your creditor then you have just lost your money. We recommend contacting your creditors directly by locating their claims on your credit report to ensure you are only speaking with someone directly involved in your debt. Credit reports can be obtained for free online. If you believe you may owe a debt then you can also reach out to a debt counselor for additional information.
IRS / Tax Man Scams
Have you been contacted by someone with the IRS or another branch of the government requesting you send them Bitcoin for a tax you owe? This is a scam! There are currently no tax jurisdictions at the federal, state or local level that accept Bitcoin as payment for their taxes that we are aware of. Other variations of this scam also encompass having you pay taxes with gift cards, store rebates or other means. They are scams as well. For more information on properly paying your taxes reach out to your local CPA office for more details.
Notice a theme? Once you send Bitcoin you can not get it back unless someone else sends it back to you. This makes it easy for scammers to have you send them funds and then disappear into the night.
Like we said before Bitcoin is an amazing technology that can enable tons of new innovations in the financial world. That being said bad people are still out there just like they were 100 years ago. Stay vigilant with your money!