- A face to face bitcoin sale in Hong Kong has ended with the seller being robbed for the cash he had just received
- The seller thought he was meeting one man, but a gang turned up and took the money after the transaction had gone through
- The event is a reminder that such sales are unsafe and largely unnecessary in today’s environment
A face-to-face bitcoin sale has ended in robbery in Hong Kong after the buyers, thought to be a gang, took back the money they had just paid the seller once the sale had been conducted. The South China Morning Post reports that the seller, a cryptocurrency trader, arranged to sell ₿15 to someone online, only for the person to turn out to be a gang of five who took back the cash they had paid him once the deal was done. The incident highlights the dangers of face-to-face bitcoin sales and acts as a reminder to take certain precautions if it is your only viable method of transaction.
₿15 Heist Ends in Manhunt
The South China Morning Post says that the seller engaged in a conversation about a sale of the ₿15 online with an individual and agreed to meet up to conduct the face-to-face bitcoin sale. The buyer appeared with an associate, and the face-to-face bitcoin sale was conducted in the buyer’s car, with the seller receiving HK$3 million (US$387,000) in cash.
The car drove off as the seller was counting the money, driving for some four miles before pulling over onto a hillside where they were joined by three more men in a black van. The gang then robbed the seller of the cash and two mobile phones, escaping in the two cars and sparking a huge manhunt.
Face-to-face Bitcoin Sales Unnecessary Risk
The case raises the huge risks associated with face-to-face bitcoin sales, which were for some time the only way to conduct such trades. Nowadays however, with online exchanges and on/offramps being more numerous and safer than ever before, there is very little need to conduct a face-to-face bitcoin sale.
If you do decide to conduct a face-to-face bitcoin sale, make sure you decide to meet and conduct the transfer in a public place. Make sure you take someone with you to the meeting and don’t go alone. If possible, confirm the person’s identity in advance so you have a clearer idea of who to expect.