What can I do if I’ve been scammed out of bitcoin?
We get inquiries like this daily. Fortunately, there are a few options.
Needless to say, the best thing to do is not to get scammed in the first place. Before sending anyone you don’t know valuable bitcoins you should perform some due diligence on BitcoinWhosWho.com or sites like badbitcoin.org to see if the website is known for fraudulent transactions. 99Bitcoins.com also provides a great scam test questionnaire.
It is impossible to unilaterally reverse transactions once confirmed on the bitcoin blockchain, but, if you’ve already sent BTC to someone who is no longer responding to your emails and you now believe is a fraud, you can take some action.
First, you can flag the address on BitcoinWhosWho.com so everyone can see it’s a scam and read why.
Second, you can check for any identifying characteristics about 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 an 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. Setup an email alert or “watch” to be notified when your BTC gets moved to another address that can possibly be identified
Third, contact your local law enforcement agency and file a report with ic3.gov