Scammers being beaten at their own game has a poetic justice to it. When attempting to con Bitcoiner Felix Crisan into paying them Tether, a cryptocurrency scammer met their match (USDT).
The con artist pretended to be Synonym’s CEO, John Carvalho. The fraudster, who we’ll refer to as “Fake John” from now on, wanted Crisan to give USDT, but Crisan, who has been learning and working with Bitcoin (BTC) for nearly a decade, had other plans.
In a nutshell, Crisan, Netopia Payments’ chief technical officer, persuaded the scammer to install a Lightning Network (LN) wallet because he exclusively deals in “LN assets.” As a result, Fake John set up a Blue Wallet Bitcoin LN wallet. Instead of delivering the money to Fake John, Crisan texted him, “Eat shit you fucking fraudster!”
All while giving away a free education on how to use Bitcoin LN, justice was served.
On the other side, it raises the question of whether Fake John will continue to defraud individuals now that they have access to Bitcoin LN addresses.
Bitcoin Lightning Network is a rapidly expanding near-instant layer-2 payment network
Built on top of the Bitcoin main chain, the Bitcoin Lightning Network is a rapidly expanding near-instant layer-2 payment network. It’s led to innovations like a faster way to pour a pint, and the aforementioned (actual) John Carvalho is partnering with Tether to develop his company on Lightning.
“I often get DMs shilling one investment plan or another,” Crisan said. When communicating and trading online, prudence and caution are crucial: On social media platforms like Twitter, scammers, bots, and cryptocurrency shills are popular, and malware bots can sometimes tamper with wallet addresses in order to steal Bitcoin.
“If the fraudster opened a communication with this node, then it would be doable,” Crisan said of pursuing and maybe apprehending the criminal. However, there are firms that provide on-demand channel creation, so that isn’t a very dependable way”. “Only the node operator would be able to undertake this enhanced tracing,” says the researcher.
Crisan isn’t a novice when it comes to deceiving con artists. In 2019, he tricked a Bitcoin noob into donating 21 million (and one) Bitcoin to their address. The hard cap on Bitcoin is 21 million, therefore the fraudster clearly needs to do some research.
Establishing a shared history with the requestor
The preceding Tweet thread demonstrates that some scammers are at best ignorant, and that Bitcoin requires more people like Crisan.
When asked whether he had any advice for bitcoin and internet users who are constantly at risk of scams, Crisan said:
“Avoiding frauds should always begin with establishing a shared history with the requestor. That is, determining if they are who they claim to be — and then asking for a common reference. (This was the first thing I asked this fraudster yesterday, and his response practically confirmed that he wasn’t John.)”