Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Be Mad with Me!

Dear bitcoin buyer, 
You recently sent me cash to purchase bitcoin. Your note said you have an account on Paxful and wanted to buy bitcoin. I assume you were honest.  It's a smart thing to do for lots of reasons.  However, I am aware of the possibility that you only buy bitcoins because someone else asked you to do so, and you get something out of it.

Perhaps someone else asked you to write that note you wrote and send me cash. If there is a third party involved, you are certainly helping them. I LOVE helping people, and I'm happy if that's what you're doing too.  There are few things I want to prevent: A) Scams involving bitcoin, B) conversion of stolen cash or proceeds from the sale of stolen goods into bitcoin, and C) people like yourself expecting something they will never get.  I even like to help someone who lies about their situation in order to get someone else to buy bitcoin, but I want to help them become honest. I hope you aren't the victim of such an operation, and if you are, I hope this letter will help.  I want to help scammers realize that they are probably smart enough to make honest money, and with a little patience, honest bitcoin trading can be more lucrative than their scam, and it has massive staying power, whereas scamming creates its own limits along with bad karma.

Hopefully, you buy bitcoins for yourself, and if someone else wants them, you sell them some of yours and then buy more to replace the ones you sold. That's what I do. I write a newsletter about it (which you can find at https://goo.gl/ZNjWe9) to encourage and show people how to do it too. It can be a profitable hobby and it helps decentralize power. 

Here is some information from some other bitcoin traders I know:
The scammers, largely Nigerian but from some other regions as well, are getting much better at what they do. These are primarily romance and work from home scams. The scammers in the middle can work their victims like puppets, they can pass any level of verification because the scammer is telling the victim to do whatever you tell them to do. They think it is part of a legitimate job or that they are helping out their “fiance”. Even if you call them they will go along with it. The furthest I have got from calling the people to verify, questioning them, and explaining romance/work scams, is a reluctant admission that a 3rd party is telling them what to do. They still want to go through with the transaction though.

They are at the point in the scam where they believe everything they are being told, and will do anything they are asked. But when they eventually realize it was a scam all along, they want to go after you because the scammer vanishes from existence. I have seen this in every payment method I offer, online and offline. It's only getting bigger. Internet scammer must be the most popular career path among young people in Nigeria at this point.

Many people just have to suffer until they learn to do things differently, but I like to provide information so that they can learn without having to suffer so much.

If you’re buying bitcoin for yourself, that's great, and thanks for buying from me!  I look forward to our next trade.  However, you might be upset, confused, or angry if there is some doubt in your mind that the bitcoin you bought from me actually went to the purpose for which you wanted to spend that cash.  You can blame yourself if you want, but how does that help?  Maybe you’ll remember not to write down anything that isn't true.

I think a better way is to leverage your relationship with “that scammer.” Be gentle as you express your doubts. Invite them to explain things that you openly admit made you suspicious.  There may come a time when you clearly see that they are lying, if you really want to know. If you discover such a deception, you have the opportunity to turn someone who lied to you (at least once) into someone better.  How could that happen?

Be mad with me, that's how.  I do get mad, but being mad AT someone doesn't often turn out to do a lot of good for any relationship with them.  It's good to say, “I'm feeling angry because ...” and then finish it without blaming anyone.  Gee, I'll take that advice myself (instead of repressing my anger).  Let that feeling of anger be the motivation to demand a more open and honest relationship.  Direct your anger at the thing that caused them to lie in the first place, and work with them to identify it and then resolve it if possible.

Dave Scotese

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