Bitcoin scams have been rampant since the market gained popularity. Scams have been around for over a decade. Some of these scams have been known to prevent most people from falling for them again. But others have evolved to be harder to spot. Hide in the shadows so the victims don’t even know they are the victim of an attack. This happened in the case of an American who lost 16.24552 bitcoins, nearly $ 1 million, to teenagers in the UK.
How the loss happened
Andrew Schober is a Colorado resident who had amassed a fair amount of bitcoins. Schober was an avid Redditor and had tracked cryptocurrencies on the website. Here he came across a link to download a Bitcoin wallet. Schober clicked the link and downloaded the Electrum Atom Bitcoin wallet in a seemingly simple process.
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Unknown to him, Schober had also taken clipboard hijacking malware with him during this download. This malware then diverted Schober’s 16.4552 BTC to a wallet owned by two teenagers who lived in the UK. At the time of the theft, the coins were worth £ 146,800.
Track down the bitcoin
That amount was a substantial part of Schober’s fortune and made up about 95% of his entire network. As Schober quotes in a letter to the teenager’s parents, this is “financially and emotionally devastating”.
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While most people would cut their losses and consider it lost, Schober didn’t give up hope. He spent about three years and about $ 10,000 on experts who had helped him figure out who the wallet belonged to. After a long search, Schober finally obtained conclusive evidence that indicated Benedict Thomspson and Oliver Read, two teenagers living in the UK at the time of the theft, as the perpetrators.
Too young to sue
The age of the perpetrators at the time of the theft made them teenagers, so Schober couldn’t sue them directly for the money. Now Schober is suing the parents of the guilty party for the total amount of Bitcoin loss, which at the time has risen to nearly a million dollars.
Current BTC price puts present value of the stolen funds at almost $1 million | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
Schober had not complained directly. First, he had sent a heartfelt letter to the perpetrators’ parents asking them to tell their children to release the BTC they had stolen from him. When this did not lead to any result, Schober sued the parents of the perpetrators.
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The defendant’s argument remains that the statute of limitations for the theft has expired. The lawsuit is therefore unsustainable. But none of the defendants denied the theft.
The lawsuit is currently pending. The lawsuit now lists both their parents and university students Oliver Read and Benedict Thompson as defendants.
Featured image from Bitcoin Exchange Guide, chart from TradingView.com