What is a Triangular Scam?

In a Crypto group where I participated, a member shared his experience of being a Triangular Scam victim. This type of scam is becoming more popular in chatrooms, forums, and social media groups.

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“They contact you to buy BTC. On the other hand, they sell electronics (cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) through Social media, Instagram, Facebook, or others. Then, they tell the buyer of the device to Deposit into your account. The scammer then calls you saying that he has already deposited into your account and sends it to your wallet. You confidently check the Deposit and then send the BTC. A few days later, you get a complaint from the person who bought the electronic device and deposited it with you. What’s left is for you to return the money. Therefore, you end up losing the BTC.”

So, what is a Triangular Scam? Because it is called a triangle, three people are needed, the scammer and two victims, victim one and victim 2.

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The scammer starts a conversation with victim one showing interest in buying that bitcoin (or another crypto), saying that he will pay through a bank transfer or a payment service such as PayPal. He then gets all the bank account information from him for the scam.
As this is going on, the scammer is also looking for his second victim. He does this by posting on another forum or group offering to sell an item like a phone, PlayStation, tablet, laptop, etc. The price and the payment method are the same as what the scammer and the first victim had agreed. The scammer tells victim 2 to deposit the money to an account, but instead of giving his account number, he shares the account information of victim one (the one selling BTC).
Once he deposits, the scammer finds an excuse to delay sending the product. On the other hand, he tells the first victim that he has already deposited the money into his account. When he verifies the deposit, he transfers the bitcoin to the scammer’s bitcoin address wallet. He now has obtained bitcoin with the money of the second victim.
The scammer then cuts the conversation with both victims.

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There is no answer; the second victim realizes that the item is not delivered, contacts the bank or payment platform for a payment return.

Because all transactions on the Blockchain are irreversible, the first victim can’t retrieve his bitcoin.
So, we have that the second victim might recover his money, but the first victim loses his bitcoin and deposit.

How to protect yourself from this type of scam?

1. Always meet face to face in a public place. It’s good to take someone along with you.
2. Request a photo ID and verify it.
3. Make sure the bank transfer is from the same name.
4. Ask for references from the person in the group.
6. Do not trade large amounts.
7. Use known exchangers.
8. Only deal with people you know or been recommended.
9. Use common sense and be cautious when buying or selling online.

When CDAP, Compumatrix’s “One-stop” shop platform launches, it will allow buying and selling cryptocurrencies to be done securely with no compromising information exposed.

Originally published by Jorge Guevarra at https://www.compumatrix.ph on October 23, 2020.

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