Two Belarussians who conducted a bitcoin exchange personally with a third person were scammed with 397,000 Euros.
The two Belarussian citizens agreed to exchange their 500 BTC for 400,000 Euros in a pub named Lario located in Como, Italy. The bar was just in the city center where the two sellers and a third person met on Monday. When they entered the pub, they asked their business partner to show the money to prove his intentions are real. The buyer did so, he showed the two sellers a suitcase full of cash, believed to be 400,000 Euros inside. After that, the Belarussians turned on their laptops and initiated a transaction to the buyer’s BTC wallet. They spent an hour chatting and finishing their lunch, ending with the third person handing over the suitcase full of money and leaving.
After the buyer left, the Belarussians opened the suitcase and discovered that only 3,000 Euros (six bank notes of 500 Euros) were genuine, the other part of the cash (397,000 Euros) was counterfeit. The two sellers looked for the scammer, however, they couldn’t find him. The only option they had was to go to the police station in Como and report the crime.
Law enforcement authorities shortly started investigating the case and according to what they told the media, police already collected witnesses in the area and questioned them. The first witnesses included employees of the local government.
“Investigations are now underway to try to trace the identity of the fraudster who immediately after the deal disappeared,” the police statement says.
This case in Italy shows how many internet and BTC related scams happen nowadays. Recently in Germany, two persons were convicted of fraud for selling railroad tickets bought with stolen credit cards. The Hannover Regional Court sentenced Paul K. and Peter K. to nearly four years in prison. According to official court documents, the two criminals sold about 500 tickets. They advertised the railroad passes to customers below the original price. Their business caused damage worth one million of Euros to credit card companies, train stations, and travel agencies.
The two criminals started selling carded train tickets to unsuspecting customers and migrants in 2012. According to police information, most of the customers believed the two Hanoverians’ made up stories behind the cheap tickets. The convicted men often used a story about their uncle who was allegedly in the railroad business and could acquire cheap tickets. Another tale included a travel agency overstocked in train tickets so they allegedly sold to the two carders for a lower price than usual.
“Initially, the railway reported 14,000 suspected cases at once,” Martin Gold told the media, a cybercrime specialist for the BKA (Federal Police). He was heavily involved in the case. According to the Die Welt, Gold was so deep in the case that his desks were stacked with railway ticket fraud reports.
Gold and his team of agents tirelessly searched databases and tracked down cash flows to trail the suspects. Criminals are “almost exclusively tech-savvy men, between 16 and 30 from different origins: German and Turks, blacks and North Africans,” he said.