Scammers in Russia Selling “Physical Bitcoin” For 1,000 Rubles ($17)

In Russia, scammers are exploiting the lack of crypto-literacy by selling souvenir Bitcoins as the real deal.

In Russia, some are exploiting the lack of crypto-literacy and are selling physical coins (souvenirs) as the world's leading cryptocurrency "Bitcoin." 

Alexander Treshchev, the founder of the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain, spoke about a letter to Herman Klimenko, the adviser to the president of Russia on Internet Development, highlighting the need to increase literacy in the field of cryptocurrencies.

He shared a story about Obninsk (Kaluga region), where a group of Romani sold residents "cash Bitcoin" (most likely Bitcoin souvenirs from AliExpress) for a thousand rubles.

Treshchev lamented the low financial literacy of the population and said that his organization would soon prepare and offer the authorities a series of measures that would allow citizens to avoid becoming victims of fraudsters.

"When some kind of hype goes on, everyone starts to rush, not understanding what and how, chasing the luck, which turns out to be a mirage. In order to enlighten people so that they do not become victims of swindlers, [our association] intends to conduct courses and publicly communicate [these matters] to people. This is a curious case – to buy cryptocurrency from Romani folks! People should not be naive. 

That's why the Government rushes from one extreme another: from doing nothing to prohibiting the sale of cryptocurrencies and empowering only licensed organizations or market participants, and only through exchanges and legal entities. Such funny cases show that everything happens for a reason and it is necessary to protect people so that they do not become victims of scammers." 

According to him, the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain is ready to undertake the responsibility to inform citizens about the problems and risks that accompany the booming crypto industry.

Interestingly, there is also a post on Russian social network, “VK,” with a photo of a "physical Bitcoin," which the poster allegedly bought from a gypsy for 500 rubles apiece. The coins obviously turned out to be fake.

Fraudsters are taking advantage of the fact that Bitcoin is priced above $4000 and investors in the market are motivated by "fear of missing out," leading them to make uninformed decisions.