Steve Wozniak gets scammed out of 7 BTC
Even the savviest of computer users can be scammed out of cryptocurrency. Apple co-founder and architect of the PC revolution Steve Wozniak had 7 BTC stolen through credit card fraud.
At the recent Economic Times Business Forum Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak revealed that he had several bitcoins stolen.
Like many, Wozniak was drawn to bitcoin initially as an experiment but he was also attracted by how it was uncontrollable by governments.
"Bitcoins to me was a currency that was not manipulated by the governments. It is mathematical, it is pure, it can’t be altered,” he told the forum.
Part of his experiment was to look at how he could use cryptocurrencies when travelling as an alternative to normal cash or credit cards, although he did say that was still difficult as there were only a limited number of places that accepted bitcoin for payments.
Having bought the coins when the price was at $700, Wozniak decided to sell because he found he was spending too much time checking prices and tracking the market. That led him to seek out someone online to buy his stash.
The scam that captured The Woz's coins was extremely simple and highlights the risk of selling coins directly. The buyer purchased the coins from Wozniak using a stolen credit card. Once the transfer of the coins was complete, the credit card transaction was cancelled by the original cardholder. When Wozniak followed this up, he discovered his chances of recouping the loss were zero.
Direct transfers of bitcoin are probably best managed when you can get your hands on actual currency, such as through a bank-to-bank transfer of funds or by using escrow services that verify the availability of funds and release them when the transaction is complete. Otherwise, there are brokerage services that can handle the sales far more safely than the path chosen by The Woz.
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