Bitcoins Valued at $463 million
LinkedIn user Shasha Xiong sent me a connection request recently, which I accepted. Shasha then messaged me asking if I would be able to assist her in selling 50,000 Bitcoins (BTC). That’s right, 50,000. Based on current market prices, this equates to $463+ million. For such a large transaction, it seemed quite odd to me that someone I don’t even know would be willing to trust me.
She went on to state that the commission rate would be 1%, not bad considering that would amount to $4.63 million. Her “client” she said would like to receive a bank wire in USD to their bank account in Singapore or Hong Kong.
Skype Video Call with “Seller” of 50,000 Bitcoins
Due to the fact that I’ve come across all kinds of scams in the past, one even where I traveled to Istanbul to meet some Sudanese gentleman who wanted me to handle a transaction worth $100 million, I decided to investigate this absurd request by the Bitcoins “Seller”. A few hours later, Shasha and I were talking to each other via Skype Video call. So, I could see her face and she told me that she was in Shanghai, China.
As the years have progressed, scammers have become increasingly bold and even quite dangerous. So, the fact that Shasha agreed to a video call with me did not surprise me much. During our video chat, I told her that I’d require proof that her “client” actually has 50,000 Bitcoins. Once our conversation ended, that’s the last time I heard back from her. Presumably, because she wanted to go after someone who was a lot more naive and inexperienced when dealing with digital currencies.
To further investigate this matter, I had a colleague of mine look into it. He proceeded to ask Shasha some basic technical questions and to provide proof that her “client” did in fact possess the said 50,000 Bitcoins.
As you can see from the screenshot above, Shasha did not even know what a signed transaction is. And, here she is trying to “Sell” 50,000 Bitcoins to strangers on LinkedIn. When probed further, the Shanghai resident stated that she’d like to meet a “representative” of the buyer out in Italy to execute the (nearly) half a billion dollar transaction. Oftentimes, scammers will try to lure their victims to places where they’re unfamiliar with so that they can easily exploit them.
For now, we have not received any further communication from Shasha, and while we cannot say with full conviction that is is in fact a scam, all the details shared here do suggest just that.