A Hong Kong citizen was robbed of over 1.4 million Hong Kong Dollars ($175,000) when he went into a meeting with the intention to buy Bitcoin.
Local news publications reported that Lee, a 34-year-old man, was interested in purchasing Bitcoin and ran into a few problems while researching the price of cryptocurrency. While conducting his research, he ran into a couple of individuals who told him that they could sell it to him for a reasonable price.
Lee was immediately lured into their offer of selling Bitcoin, particularly because they were selling their Bitcoins at a “discounted” price. There was just one stipulation, and it seemed very simple – even if shady – to follow: the deal had to be executed in cash.
Lee had been communicating with these individuals through WeChat, and once he was told that he would get a 5 percent discount on his purchase of 5 Bitcoins, they seemingly made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
The meeting for five bitcoins
After learning of the discounted Bitcoins, Lee was quick to arrange the meeting with the individuals, who told him that he could come to a local Starbucks to complete the transaction. Since it was a busy street, Lee did not think much of it and went on to make arrangements for cash.
He then carried about 450,000 HKD (more than $57,000) to purchase those 5 Bitcoins and went to the specified Starbucks at their scheduled time in the evening, which was around 5 PM.
Lee was able to meet with the two individuals, but they never got to make the exchange at that time. Why? They wanted to sell more Bitcoins to Lee. Lee, for his part, was more than happy to buy them and avail the discount on even more Bitcoins.
The next meeting with more proposed Bitcoins from the perpetrators and even more cash by Lee was scheduled after 9 PM the same day, this time at a more fulfilling setting of McDonald’s.
And the one where no bitcoins were found
As per his agreement with the individuals, Lee went to the new location with a bigger bag of cash that now held 1.4 million HKD (around $175,000). However, when he went to McDonald’s, he couldn’t find them there.
Lee waited for a few minutes and received a call by one of these perpetrators, innocently asking him about directions since they were lost, and who then directed Lee to meet them a block’s distance from McDonald’s.
Lee agreed right away and went to their mentioned place. However, instead of finding those men with Bitcoins for him, he was attacked from behind by three masked individuals who took no time in pushing Lee to the floor. It was immediately after this that they made off with Lee’s bag of cash and his cellphone.
The perpetrators then ran away and could not be found.
According to local authorities, Lee suffered minor injuries in the incident. While the physical harm seems to be next to nothing, Lee did get to part ways with more than $175,000 in a few minutes’ time, and that psychological wound might take some time to heal.
This not the first incident of this kind
And not even in the same region.
The victim first met the alleged robber and after the meeting was kidnapped and robbed by an unidentified individual who took his keys along with valuable items. The alleged robber then broke into the victim’s place using the apartment keys, stole his digital wallet and transferred $1.8 million in Ether to his account.
These incidents just go on to show that with the growing usage of cryptocurrency, anyone who wants to trade or holds these digital assets needs to be very careful. Whether digital wallets or bags full of cash, constant vigilance needs to be maintained to do one’s best to protect themselves and their assets.