I got $5,000 Scammed Last Night - Problems with the Modern Banking System by Charlie Shrem

$ 473.856 SBD


EDIT: Total stolen was $7200. Foot Locker alone was $2400

Last night I'm out with family eating dinner and I go to charge my debit card. It got declined.

Like many of you, I work in Bitcoin and crypto currency. I get paid in Bitcoin as well for many projects. I keep the funds in various cold/hot wallets and I use a BitPay Debit Card for my day to day bills. My accountant actually prefers this because it makes calculating taxes easier.

So my card was declined and when I logged into my BitPay account, I saw someone spent $5,000 I had on the card

I'm in Pennsylvania, so my first reaction was that my card was skimmed along the way and created a clone card. I looked at the statement and looks like the scammer did a quick run at a shopping mall in San Francisco, CA.


I immediately called BitPay Card Services and they were closed. This really pissed me off because I could have potentially stopped the charges. When I spoke to a gentleman at Foot Locker, he said if I had called the day-of he could have voided the charges.

I said to him:

Hey, I don't mean to offend you, but if someone walks in and spends $1500 in your store in multiple transactions. Don't you think you should ask him for ID?

He hung up on me.

Someone just bought the whole city new shoes on my dime.

(Update- Total spent at Foot Locker was $2400, not $1500)


I spoke to card services today and they advised me to make a dispute. However they said I have to wait until the stores actually charge my card, since its in pre authorization.

Wait, I need to wait for the stores to actually charge me to dispute it? If its not charged yet, can you just cancel the charges?

No sir.


Take away:

  • I'm not blaming BitPay. I absolutely love this card and I plan on keep using it, but 24/7 customer service should be standard.
  • This is a non-chip card. I wish their issuing bank "Metropolitan Commercial Bank" would issue chip-pin cards like the rest of the world. If you are using a non-chip card, I recommend you get a new card every 30 days.
  • Set up a flag that if your card is used more than 3 times in 1 day, it should freeze the card.

Every time you use your card or a check, your payment information is on the card or the check, anyone can use those details to drain your account.

Bitcoin transactions are push transactions, everything else in the world is a pull transaction. When you swipe your card or write a check, the receiver has complete access to your funds.

Now, I am covered by Visa's "Zero Liability Policy" however I have to file a dispute and wait 60 days for my money back.

We need more merchants accepting Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Steem Dollars would be perfect. Transactions are instant and removes volatility.

Let's make it happen.


$ 473.856 SBD