Common Scams

Learn more about these scams and how to identify them.

Online Shopping Scams (Ebay, Upwork, Craiglists etc)

This scam involves the potential sale of vehicles from one person to the next. This scam is extremely common and more detailed information from eBay themselves may be found here: Ebay security.

Scammers on Craigslist, upwork, etc. may ask to process a transaction through “eBay” and will send an email that appears like it's from eBay requesting Bitcoin as payment. Do not complete any payment unless it is through the official eBay payment portal. If there are any doubts, confirm your transaction and the accounts with eBay directly before completing a purchase.

Airbnb Scams

Similar to the eBay scam, scammers will ask customers to pay them via Bitcoin instead of through the Airbnb site. AirBnb does not accept bitcoin and all payments to renters should be made through the official AirBnb payment portal. Always contact the company support line directly if there are doubts or concerns.

IRS Scams

There are many variations of this scam, but all of them involve the scammer calling and/or emailing the victim and posing as an IRS agent. The scammer will threaten the victim with jail time if the victim does not comply and immediately send Bitcoin to the scammer to cover “money owed”. US Government agencies do not recognize Bitcoin as a currency and will never ask you for it or over the phone or by email. Variations also include the scammer offering alternative payment options such as Visa prepaid cards and retail gift cards.

International Account Scams

A scammer will post an advertisement stating that they work for a foreign business that needs a domestic bank account. They will “hire” you to open a domestic account on the behalf of their business, which will then have funds deposited (supposedly revenue for the business). You are then told to withdraw a portion of the funds and send it to the owner via Bitcoin. The scammer may go as far as presenting legal documents for the business. Under no circumstances should you open a domestic account on behalf of a foreign corporation. Immediately inform local authorities of these requests as they typically represent the illicit laundering of proceeds.

Romance Scams

In these scams false admirers establish a romantic or friendly relationship with the victim and use various pretenses to request money or financial details. Typically, the scammer will shower the victim with compliments and the relationship becomes more serious. Once the victim is emotionally connected, the scammer will ask for money to cover an emergency expense (e.g. a surgery, travel expenses to see the victim

More Scams

Rental Scams

Numerous scams exist where a down payment for a rental property is requested using Bitcoin, despite the individual not having the authority to rent the gear/space/etc. or actually possessing the item. It is best to not make an initial rental payment to an unknown individual using Bitcoin.

New Job Scams

Scammers will ask for payment in Bitcoin for representation at a “talent/job agency” or for them to purchase “job materials” for you. Legitimate talent and job agencies will never ask you for upfront/down payments as they make their money on a percentage of things they book for you.

Scams Targeting the Elderly

If you are over the age of fifty-five (55) years old, please be aware of scams that prey on the elderly. These scams attempt to extort money from elderly citizens, most often by falsifying a love interest. Please only use our services for trading that you wish to do, and never trade on anyone else’s behalf.

Remittance Scams

Do not reply to emails or inbound communications from strangers telling you they need help moving some money, in exchange for your services, you'll get a portion of the funds. The scammer will send you money, typically via check, and have you deposit the funds into their private bank account. They will then ask you to return the funds to them via Bitcoin as it allows for immediate transfers. This is a way that criminals try to obscure their paper trail. If this occurs, immediately inform your bank of the situation and work with their representatives.



Prize Giveaway Scams

Similarly to free giveaways, prize giveaway scams trick people into taking action or supplying information about themselves. For example, supplying a name, address, email and phone number in order to claim a prize. This can allow a hacker to attempt to use the information to gain access to accounts by impersonating you.