What was once pre paid SIM cards, then transitioned to iTunes gift cards and has now infiltrated the Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency industry. My industry.
We’ve all gotten the phone call: “You owe the CRA money” “Your power will be shut off” “You will go to jail” “Your wife needs money to get back home” and there is only one way to remedy this phone call. Send Bitcoin. The majority of people reading this often roll their eyes and hang up. We aren’t the targets. The targets are the vulnerable.
The new Canadian, the senior citizen, the financial illiterate, these are the people that hear a threat and obey demands. We have seen centralized custodians fail at protecting our people time and time again. Equifax. Crypto exchanges. Most recently, Twitter. And a plethora of others. While we at Bitcoin Solutions aren’t a custodian, we are centralized. And we need to do better. Our customers rely on us to provide bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the fastest and safest way possible. We are working on technology to protect these vulnerable people. Those that are being threatened on the phone by a scam artist in a foreign country while standing at our machines will now have 3 layers of protection:
1. The question – are you buying these coins to HODL or for a third party?
2. The warning – you are being scammed. Sending coins to a third party is irreversible. Call the police
3. The verification – are you sure you want to proceed? This cannot be undone.
We hope that these 3 questions and forced “cool down” periods of 60 and 15 seconds after the 2nd and 3rd questions will give potential scam victims the information and power the need to survive a terrible situation.
To my fellow operators: this technology is built to sit on top of the existing Lamassu tech stack. If you operate a Lamassu machine please reach out and we will give you the scripts and instructions to place on your machine so we can all continue to fight the good fight.