The best thing about Bitcoin is the user totally controls their own Bitcoin. No bank to hold it, no payment company to send it. The Bitcoin you hold in your digital wallet is controlled only by you and can be sent right when you want. Unfortunately, there are "bad guys" out there who try to use Bitcoin as a means of scamming victims since transactions are controlled by the initiating user (not an institution) and irreversible. Some scams to be aware of:
IRS, Utility, & Immigration Scams
Do not attempt to pay any utility bills, make IRS payments, or immigration (Green card, ICE) payments using Bitcoin. These are SCAMS and should be reported immediately to FTC.gov
Check cashing scam
This category also includes fake jobs or interviews. Someone will offer to pay you via check (sometimes other forms) and ask you to send bitcoin to another destination for some believable reason. They will often provide you with a QR code they created to scan at the machine. Excuses include sending money to clients, purchasing a wardrobe, or paying for transportation. Not only is this potentially money laundering, but most likely you will see the original check bounce and only you will be responsible for the lost cash or bitcoin. If someone is sending you money and asks you to send money somewhere else, be very suspicious.
Internet classified ads car scam (Ebay, Craigslist, LetGo, etc)
In the Ebay Motors scam, cars are posted online (craigslist etc), often at a good discount to their true value. The seller might say they are with Ebay Motors, selling the car through Ebay Motors or sometimes the scammer uses the story of a US serviceman transferred overseas or the car is from a sick or lost loved one. The victim is then sent to a Bitcoin ATM to put in cash and scan the QR code or enter the address provided by the scammer (This is why we require you to scan YOUR digital wallet at the ATM, not a QR code provided by someone else). Sometimes the victim is also asked to send additional funds for shipping or delivery at the time or once the car hasn't been delivered. Since all Bitcoin transaction are irreversible the Bitcoin sent can not be recovered. Consumers are ALWAYS encouraged to do their due diligence about the counter party before buying anything with Bitcoin since all transactions are irreversible. In this case, contacting Ebay Motors would reveal the seller is not actually listed and Ebay Motors does not accept payments directly in Bitcoin.
The bottom line is if it sounds too good to be true it is.
Injured or arrested loved one scam
Here the victim receives a phone call from a scammer posing to be an officer of the law or an attorney. They are told their loved one (child, grandchild, etc.) has gotten in trouble with the law or has been injured in an accident and money must be sent immediately for medical expenses, bail, attorney fees etc. In a variation of this scam someone posing to be the injured or arrested loved one may speak on the phone for a brief instant asking for help. In this scenario you are encouraged to check on the welfare of your loved one with someone else who also is in close regular contact with them and might be able to vouch for their whereabouts. The victim is almost always pressed to stay on the phone with the scammer and not contact anyone else about the matter. A real law officer or legitimate attorney would never pressure a person to send money immediately. These should be BIGGEST RED FLAGS of all!
Beware sending any kind of money to a romance or friendship that has started online, especially if you have not met them in person. Please see the following link for more information
Recently it has come to our attention that people are buying Bitcoin and joining "coin clubs." They deposit the Bitcoin they bought into the coin club with promises of returning more Bitcoin that they contributed. It is currently our belief that this is a form of a "Ponzi scheme" where you are led to believe you can make money for nothing using automated trading strategies or simply getting other people to sign up. We DO NOT recommend buying Bitcoin unless you keep it securely in your own personal wallet. Here is a link on how to get a secure digital wallet.