Yesterday, the Italian newspaper “Corriere della Sera” published an article entitled “Bitcoin scams in Milan“.
Bitcoin has no connection to it
The article recounts a scam perpetrated against a professor in Milan, implying right from the title that it was a scam involving Bitcoin.
Instead, as often happens in these cases, Bitcoin has nothing to do with it, because it is only used as a buzzword by the fraudsters to try to make their activities less dubious.
The Corriere reports that the naive professor had put a computer up for sale on the Internet. He was then contacted by a potential buyer with whom he also arranged a meeting in person.
Unfortunately, the professor trusted the fake buyer because “he presented himself well dressed, polite, affable, reassuring, and skilled with words”.
The scam concerned the payment for the computer. In fact, the potential buyer had asked not to pay in euro so as not to have to wait five days for the transfer to be credited. Domestic credit transfers do not have this timeframe, so it was already possible to doubt that this was an attempt at fraud.
The potential buyer had justified this anomaly by stating that he had dual citizenship and relied on a bank account in Dubai.
The fraudster thus proposed to the professor to register on a crypto platform, where he would receive funds in cryptocurrencies convertible into dollars.
The problem was that the professor did not verify that it was a legitimate platform, and when it came time to collect the funds, he discovered that it was not possible, so much so that the same platform required a membership fee of over €3,000 to enable withdrawals.
These platforms are outright scams, and they often have absolutely nothing to do with cryptocurrencies, let alone Bitcoin.
On the contrary, it is possible that the scammer was himself a promoter of the platform, and would therefore have earned a percentage of the sums that the platform managed to extort from the unfortunate professor.
Usually, there are other ways to promote these platforms, such as the famous fake news involving the names of various celebrities without their knowledge.
The most famous of these fake news is the one that used the name of the singer Jovanotti, and this was even unmasked by the Italian television show “Striscia la Notizia“.
These are not crypto platforms at all, but mere decoys that pretend to show figures in cryptocurrencies being deposited with them, but instead they merely deceive the naive with lies upon lies.
It is doubtful that the professor actually received a credit in cryptocurrencies as payment for the sale of his computer: it was most likely just a lie to try to extort the €3,000 required for registration.
In fact, it is extremely likely that even if he had paid the absurd sum required for registration, he would still not have been able to withdraw funds that most likely did not even exist in reality.
The Corriere article then concludes with a statement bordering on the ridiculous:
“especially in Milan, cryptocurrencies are also a tool of organized crime to move illegal economic flows without leaving traces”.
All Bitcoin’s on-chain transactions always leave a public trace on its blockchain, so it is more than evident that the author of the article is unaware of how Bitcoin really works.