There is a poetic justice for crooks who are beaten at their own game. A cryptocurrency scammer met their match when they tried to trick Bitcoiner, Felix Crisan, into sending them Tether (USDT).
The scammer tried to impersonate John Carvalho, the CEO of Synonym, quotes a Bitcoiner Cointelegraph regularly. The scammer, who we will call fake John from now on, wanted Crisan to send USDT, but Crisan – who has been learning and dealing with Bitcoin (BTC) for almost a decade – had other ideas:
— felix crisan (@fixone) March 23, 2022
In short, Crisan, a CTO at NETOPIA Payments, convinced the scammer to install a Lightning (LN) wallet as he only deals with “LN assets”. So, Fake John Installed a Bitcoin LN Wallet, Blue Wallet† Instead of sending Fake John the money, Crisan sent a message that read “Eat shit you fucking scammer!”.
Justice has served its purpose properly – all while providing a free lesson in how to use Bitcoin LN.
On the other hand, it does raise questions about whether Fake John will continue to scam people, but now with Bitcoin LN addresses at their disposal.
The Bitcoin Lightning Network is a fast-growing, near-instantaneous payment network built on top of the Bitcoin backbone known as layer two. It has brought innovations such as a quick way to pour a pint while the aforementioned (real-life) John Carvalho builds his business on Lightning in partnership with Tether.
Crisan told Cointelegraph that he is “constantly getting DMs for one investment plan or the other.” Caution and precaution are essential in online interaction and transactions: Scammers, bots and cryptocurrency shills are commonplace on social media platforms such as Twitter, while malware bots can sometimes disrupt wallet addresses to steal Bitcoin.
In terms of chasing and perhaps catching the miscreants, Crisan said that “if the scammer opened a channel with this node, it would be possible. But there are also services that offer some sort of on-demand channel creation, so that’s not very reliable method.” But in the end “only the node operator could do this enhanced trace.”
It’s not the first time Crisan has played tricks on scammers. In 2019, he outsmarted an illiterate Bitcoin scammer by sending 21 million (and one) Bitcoin to their address. Bitcoin has a hard limit of 21 million Bitcoin, so obviously the scammer needs to do some homework.
1/ I spent some time today trolling a scammer. At one point I was “ready” to send him 21mil BTC to “trade”. However, he was attentive and only wanted 100k pic.twitter.com/4sxgf0d4DI
— felix crisan (@fixone) July 7, 2019
The above Tweet thread makes it clear that some scammers are misinformed at best, while Bitcoin needs more people like Crisan.
Related: ‘How I Met Satoshi’: The Mission to Teach 100 Million People About Bitcoin by 2030
When asked if Crisan had any advice for sharing with cryptocurrency and internet users who face a seemingly constant threat of scams, Crisan told Cointelegraph:
“Scam avoidance should always stem from a common history with the applicant. Ie to determine if they are who they claim to be to ask a common reference (yesterday this kind of question was the first I asked this scammer and the answer almost confirmed that he is not John).”