Our recommendation, in general, is to never pay with bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. It is impossible to unilaterally reverse transactions once confirmed on the bitcoin blockchain. Companies who ask you to pay with a cryptocurrency do so to hide their (or your) identify and have money transfers which are untraceable for governments.
If you’ve already paid someone with a cryptocurrency who is no longer responding to your emails and you now believe is a fraud, you can take the following actions:
- You can report the website on Scamadviser.com in order to warn your fellow consumers about the dishonesty of the website.
- Second, you can check for any identifying characteristics of the bitcoin address. It only takes one mistake for a scammer to be exposed forever on the blockchain. Check the Bitcoin Who’s Who Bitcoin Address Report for;
- Website Appearances. See if the address has ever appeared on any websites that could be used to identify the scammer.
- The “Last Transaction IP” Address. It’s possible this IP address belongs to the scammer and can be used to identify his or her location.
- Wallet Name. The wallet name may lead you to exchange or service that can be subpoenaed.
- Recent Transaction w/ Known Entities. The address may have recently transacted with an entity that can be subpoenaed
- Monitor Future Transactions. Set up an email alert or “watch” to be notified when your BTC gets moved to another address that can possibly be identified
3. Contact your local law enforcement agency
HOW TO PAY SAFELY WITH BITCOIN
Again, we do not recommend to pay with cryptocurrency. If you like to remain anonymous you could consider the following service:
Bitrated uses multisig addresses to activate a third-party arbiter in situations where a buyer is not satisfied with the end result of a transaction. Instead of being stuck with PayPal, Amazon, or one of the handfuls of other online arbiters, you can now find a dispute resolution provider like you would find an Uber driver or an Airbnb rental. If you’re making an online purchase from an untrusted buyer via bitcoin, you now have the ability to essentially conduct a chargeback if things don’t go your way. It should also be noted that the money is not held in escrow, so there is no chance for a malicious arbiter to run away with the funds (unless they’re colluding with the seller).
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