What is a Triangular Scam?

In a Crypto group where I participated, a member shared his experience of being a Triangular Scam victim. This type of scam is becoming more popular in chatrooms, forums, and social media groups.

“They contact you to buy BTC. On the other hand, they sell electronics (cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) through Social media, Instagram, Facebook, or others. Then, they tell the buyer of the device to Deposit into your account. The scammer then calls you saying that he has already deposited into your account and sends it to your wallet. You confidently check the Deposit and then send the BTC. A few days later, you get a complaint from the person who bought the electronic device and deposited it with you. What’s left is for you to return the money. Therefore, you end up losing the BTC.”

So, what is a Triangular Scam? Because it is called a triangle, three people are needed, the scammer and two victims, victim one and victim 2.

The scammer starts a conversation with victim one showing interest in buying that bitcoin (or another crypto), saying that he will pay through a bank transfer or a payment service such as PayPal. He then gets all the bank account information from him for the scam.
As this is going on, the scammer is also looking for his second victim. He does this by posting on another forum or group offering to sell an item like a phone, PlayStation, tablet, laptop, etc. The price and the payment method are the same as what the scammer and the first victim had agreed. The scammer tells victim 2 to deposit the money to an account, but instead of giving his account number, he shares the account information of victim one (the one selling BTC).
Once he deposits, the scammer finds an excuse to delay sending the product. On the other hand, he tells the first victim that he has already deposited the money into his account. When he verifies the deposit, he transfers the bitcoin to the scammer’s bitcoin address wallet. He now has obtained bitcoin with the money of the second victim. 
The scammer then cuts the conversation with both victims.

There is no answer; the second victim realizes that the item is not delivered, contacts the bank or payment platform for a payment return.

Because all transactions on the Blockchain are irreversible, the first victim can’t retrieve his bitcoin.
So, we have that the second victim might recover his money, but the first victim loses his bitcoin and deposit.

How to protect yourself from this type of scam?

1. Always meet face to face in a public place. It’s good to take someone along with you.
2. Request a photo ID and verify it.
3. Make sure the bank transfer is from the same name.
4. Ask for references from the person in the group.
6. Do not trade large amounts.
7. Use known exchangers.
8. Only deal with people you know or been recommended.
9. Use common sense and be cautious when buying or selling online.

When CDAP, Compumatrix’s “One-stop” shop platform launches, it will allow buying and selling cryptocurrencies to be done securely with no compromising information exposed.

About the author

Jorge, also known as Coky, is a member of Compumatrix since 2006
He enjoys sharing with the community and is always there, ready to be helpful.
Coky is bilingual English-Spanish and the RR for the Latin America group.


  1. Jorge has correctly described what happens all the time.
    At some time or the other, many of us fall prey to such situations. These are “school fees” that we pay, to learn some bitter lessons.
    Despite scammers lurking around everywhere, there are safe places to buy Bitcoins.
    Reliable companies such as AMAZON and MERCADO LIBRE do comply, when we place orders for consumer products.
    As Coky rightly says, we can buy and sell cryptocurrencies safely and securely, when CDAP launches. All in one place – what more could we ask for?

    1. Thanks, Raju for being the first to comment. I appreciate it.
      Yes, scammers are everywhere ready to lurk on innocent victims especially on newbies. And some of us have had to learn the hard way.
      Always deal with known respectful companies or individuals. Ask for references for them.

  2. Thank you for the article,Jorge, It’s amazing how a clever scammer uses his brain to destroy someone,your points are invaluable,it is important that we implement this point  to protect our up from the scammer,there is no safer way than CDAP,selling and buy cryptocurrencies.

    1. Yes, Zahra scammers and hackers are very clever and can do much damage.
      And in the case of a triangular scam, both victims don’t even know what’s going on until it’s too late.

  3. Wowza, Jorge! It’s amazing to me how creative criminals can be. Especially if one is deep into online groups, crypto & socials. Thank you for the reminder to not be fooled by dishonest, desperate people. And for the brilliant reminder of what we have in the CDAP! How lucky are we?

    1. That is why many folks don’t like to surf the web. There is a scammer ready to steal your personal information if one is not cautious. Don’t be too naive in thinking everyone wishes good to you.

  4. They seem to be coming out of the woodwork and are getting more and more creative, sad that we have to become more and more suspicious and less trusting.

    1. Yes, they can smell prey by how you interact with others. This on social media where strangers can read what you post. Sadly we become a less trusting society.

  5. Wow another ingenious scam. Just think if these clever people used their skills for the good, how useful they would be to their area of expertise! Your nine tips to protect ourselves from this type of scam; therefore, are very timely and definitely something we must take heed of. Our common sense seems to always need to be dialed up to the highest level. Your very last sentence made me feel so much better. I wait with anticipation!

    1. Indeed, they are clever. With brilliant minds of hackers, scammers, and con man/woman if they turn it around for good as you say, a better place this would be.
      The 9 points are summarized in do not trust anyone.

  6. Thank you for highlighting the deceptive and easy to fall for traps in the internet world. We all need to know that some people take great delight in hurting others. When dealing with assets we own, it is vital to guard them with all the tight security available and pure common sense.

    1. Hey, Hennie, I made it here Hahaha
      Sadly there are evildoers among us.
      We must always be prepared in protecting ourselves and our families.
      Security is a keyword when it comes to assets.

  7. Great info Coky! I have never heard of this type of scam even though there are many out there. There are so many hackers and scammers out there that they try everything possible to get to you for what you have so never trust anyone….

    1. Me either. I know scams towards individuals or a group, but two victims that are not related between them.
      Hackers, scammers, con, and Ponzi doers is a menace to society.
      We just need to educate ourselves on how not to fall for it.

  8. Thank You, Coky, for this informative blog. There are so many scammers and thieves out there. They are always coming up with new ways of taking from us. I am appreciative of those who are more aware of these scammers and warn us. Some of we elderly are not always aware of the dangers to watch for, being new to this technological world.

    1. You’re welcome. Yes, we must always be alert when many scammers, especially on Social media are willing to do us harm and rob us of our money and identity.
      Specially we elders sometimes are too confident.

  9. Thank you Coky for your blog. This information opens our eyes to understand how many different ways these scammers are scamming people. This information is helping people who are not so familiar with crypto purchasing, and they don’t understand how it works, or in countries where you don’t have the option of buying crypto on an exchange. Always need to have an open mind ……..
    I’m looking forward to our One-stop shop in Compumatrix where we will be able to purchase safely.

    1. This crypto ecosystem is still in its early stages, and security is still placed as our own responsibility. Not your Key, not your bitcoin; a blockchain transaction is irreversible emphasizes that we must be careful in what we do.
      Yes, me too, CDAP will be a relief to many.

  10. Wow what a scam very scary I guess people will almost do anything to steal your money this seems like a sophisticated scam that could fool many people that makes it very dangerous, so glad you put the protection outline in there to help people. Glad to know you find this thank -you.

    1. When you think you’re doing the right thing, placing a deposit to the right account, just to find out that it is being used as a scam scheme.
      I guess buying or selling to strangers online is to be avoided unless they show who they really are.

  11. Like always, scammers are everywhere and we all need to be very careful when dealing with strangers. Usually, when a deal is too good to be true, it’s most likely a scam. Always use known exchangers and buy from stores directly.
    Yes, once we get the CDAP open it will be a secure transaction, but I know many members are trading already on their own or just holding and buying Bitcoin, so be aware of what could happen.
    BTW, this seems to be your first blog, if I am not mistaken. ? Congratulations Jorge !

    1. You got it Gitta. Too good to be true smells like a scam
      Use known trustworthy exchangers and stores by asking for recommendations of their services.
      Acting alone and not caring about the consequences, is as harmful as scamming.

  12. Jorge: Thanks a million for the excellent information. As many has mentioned, Awareness, safety, knowledge of what and whom we are dealing with, are some of the guidelines. Asking
    questions is one way of getting to the the real source. I often wonder if we are through a BIG scam that we don’t even know. The new CDAP will take care of many things. In the mean time the word is BEWARE.

  13. Thank you, Jorge, for the update. It’s such truth scammers are all around, but we can be careful. Don’t open emails you don’t know. I never open links or anything I don’t know is being sent to me, and I will often take a picture and ask the person because 9 out of 10 times its phishing. So be careful.

  14. Thanks for this description of a very nasty scam. Your advice to avoid this type of scam is good, but unfortunately, covid19 has made it impossible to meet face-to-face, at least where I am. Let us hope that CDAP will be ready very soon, but even if we can act more confidently from CDAP, we must still be careful and not accept strange invitations and links.

  15. Thank you for the update on scammers. They are always finding new ways to get your money or crypto. Once you’ve uncovered their scheme they are already looking at a new and different one. I have been, hopefully, diligent in trying to stay one step ahead of them. I never open an email unless I know for sure who the sender is. I get many emails and phone calls from Colorado where I lived for many years. They seem to think because I lived in that state I must have tons of friends there but not true. I get calls and emails from Colorado cities I have never even heard of.
    I recognize the email addresses and phone numbers of my Colorado friends, so everybody else gets deleted. The dunning is even worse during this election year. I never send money. When I want to give money I go directly to the office of the Party I am supporting.

    1. You are wise in not opening those unknown emails. They might come with malware or virus with just a click. They usually present themselves as wanting to help you, using kind and polite words, and the try to in your trust. WRONG!!

  16. Is It Dangerous to Open Spam Email? You’ll be thrilled to hear that just opening the spam email in your inbox is unlikely to wreak havoc on your computer or mobile device. Whichever email service provider you use—Outlook, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, or some other—opening such emails should be safe. Just for your record .

    1. I don’t know how safe these service providers are, For me Spam and Danger go together and Do harm to your info on your device.
      So it’s better to play it safe. Unkown source emails, the number one rule is DO NOT OPEN, Delete.

  17. I am so fearful of participation in almost anything any more. People have gotten so good at scamming others by making an opportunity look so good, when it may not really be an opportunity at all—just a great way to take what is yours away from you. Thank you so much for the tips and guidance on how to avoid being scammed. Even when you think you know what to look for, you can still be lured downed the wrong road. We must all keep our focus and use caution, yet it is just still so easy to make a mistake.

    1. Although Scammers will always be among us, there is no reason to be fearful, just be cautious.
      Opportunities do exist and we have missed many of them, for fear so failing or indeed being scammed.
      Just be wise and trustless

  18. Thanks for the info Coky. It’s a shame that so many godless people have nothing better to do than steal from others by using scams. How often are we advised now to accept a proposal or not to accept suspicious offers. It’s mind boggling. If only those scammers would put their efforts for good the world would be a better place. Thanks again, this article is a great heads up.

    1. Yes, Kyle, people who set their minds to doing harm to others should be ashamed. But this is the world we live in. Godless ones don’t care who they target and get hurt, while good folks seek to care for the needs of others. That’s why Compumatrix is known as a sharing and caring company.

  19. I agree scammers are everywhere and we all need to be very careful online and offline. I was told a long time ago if it sounds too good to be true then it normally is. Once we get the CDAP open it will be a secure transaction, but I know many members are trading already on their own or just holding and buying Bitcoin, so be aware of what could happen once this occurs.

  20. It’s a terrible thing to be a victim of a scam artist..But you also have to ask yourself before;
    “is this too good to be true?”
    If the answer is yes then maybe that should be reason enough for you to stay away from it.
    The scam industry is growing per minute and it’s up to us to make sure we don’t get fooled and always stay alert of these scam artists.

    1. I agree if it sounds to good to be true then it normally is. If it looks like a duck walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it must be a duck.

  21. Thank you for this useful blog post Jorge. It shows again that scammers are becoming more and more resourceful to rip you off. There are so many different ways they use to harm you and it is very important to investigate what is being offered before you take any action.

  22. Great blog Coky. In this day and age we have to be on the lookout for a scammer around every corner. In our texts our emails our phone calls, and even in areas on Compumatrix. Paying attention and being wise and trust less is the key.

  23. I never heard of this one before but have fallen for many money making schemes in the past. Just when we figure out one scam, another comes along. I marvel at the ingeniousness of people thinking up these scams and know that they are way smarter than I. Thank you for the warning, and I will be on the lookout for this one for sure.

  24. Thank you for your wise words Jorge. You have to be very careful these days with suspicious websites and mails that you visit or receive. There was a scam lately in the city where I live and it was very clever what these men and a woman were doing. Happily, the police could expose them and the scam ended with these people in jail.

  25. I can agree that there are many scams out there. I have learned the hard way that if something sounds to good to be true, then it likely is not. It seems safer to make purchases through reputable organizations and through a way that your funds can be returned back to you in the event that your merchandise is not received.

  26. We all have to be on the lookout for scammers. They are sometimes even in the most unsuspecting places such as within reputable dealers or organizations. It can be helpful to to try to read up on a company and their reputation for handling business before making purchases with it.

  27. This article was very helpful because I have never heard about this. I think when working with something like Compumatrix or Bitcoin it is important to educate ourselves so we can avoid scams that potentially hurt oursevles involved with Compumatrix and others. Many people are going to be working hard to sabotage all of our work in Compumatrix so we have to be able to protect ourselves when this occurs.

  28. what an awesome blog posting and on Security features it hits a home run in baseball terms — I agree so much with You as Biz owner and Biz participant must Always cover all your bases and dig deep and doublecheck and triplecheck if can — with this new biz of non peep to peep — You have to to go farther — great read

  29. Jorge sure has described what happen to that plays on the internet with MLM all the time.
    We were all caught up some time or the other in time past , I sure learnt by many hard knocks over time ,many moons ago. I think also many of us fell prey to such situations but over time, we all learned about scams and I now hope most have smartened up ..I sure did .

  30. It is amazing to what length a scammer would go to! It sounds like a complicated life to me to be scheming like that and I wonder how such a person can sleep through the night. If only they put their energy into honest work… I have not heard about this type of scam until I read this post and found the section about how to avoid such scam very helpful.

  31. It is sad how some people take advantage of situations to take advantage of others. An opportunity with as much potential as bitcoin is tarnished because of this type of situation. I have already fallen into some online scams. It’s sad, because you think you’re going to get financial relief and you get out of the situation worse than you were.
    I didn’t know that this was how this type of scam worked. Thanks for the information.

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