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Question: Which scenarios, outlined below, deserve a scammer tag? (Please read closely)
Scenario 1 - 6 (5.9%)
Scenario 2 - 18 (17.8%)
Scenario 3 - 33 (32.7%)
Scenario 4 - 40 (39.6%)
None (this option will be ignored, please select if you feel none are scammer-tag worthy) - 4 (4%)
Total Voters: 48

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Author Topic: What's in a scammer tag?  (Read 2720 times)
dree12
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September 11, 2012, 10:32:04 PM
 #1

Not all scenarios below correspond to an actual situation that has occurred in the past on these forums, but I can guarantee that some are. In the interest of neutrality, the connections are not posted here.

I don't claim this poll to be important anyhow, but it'll be interesting to see the results.

Scenario 1
Quote
I will give each user 0.1 BTC, up to a maximum of 100 BTC.
After paying out 50 BTC:
Quote
Sorry, I ran out of BTC. I know I said 100 BTC maximum, but please respect my situation here.

Scenario 2
Quote
Send me 0.1 BTC, and I will double it in a week! I will double 100 users!
After doubling 50 users, refuses to double 51st user, paying it back in a week:
Quote
Sorry bro, ran out, and I need to minimize my losses. I paid you back your 0.1 BTC, sorry it took so long. I don't know what I was thinking when I made the OP.

Scenario 3
Quote
I'm going to bet up to 100 BTC that the Penguins will win the Stanley Cup this year. Just send to [address] and I will return to one of the inputs if I lose. 1:1 odds, normal rules apply. I'm well trusted here, so don't worry about escrow.
After the Rangers win the cup:
Quote
I'm so sorry! I intended the bet to be a joke. I never expected anyone to send. I returned all the money sent, plus 1% extra as compensation for the time.

Scenario 4
Quote
I'm going to bet up to 100 BTC that the Blue Jays will lose tomorrow’s game. Anyone interested, post your address and amount here!
After the Blue Jays win:
Quote
Look, I'm not going to lose this bet on poor umpires. It was clear that the umpires were biased, deliberately calling a few shady Jays runs "safe". I'm not going to ask you to remit the funds, but I won't pay out either.
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theymos
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September 12, 2012, 02:22:56 AM
 #2

I said 3 & 4, but they'd all depend on the exact situations.

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September 12, 2012, 02:34:46 AM
 #3

As a scam investigator, here are my thoughts:
Scenario 1
Quote
I will give each user 0.1 BTC, up to a maximum of 100 BTC.
After paying out 50 BTC:
Quote
Sorry, I ran out of BTC. I know I said 100 BTC maximum, but please respect my situation here.
This one needs more information. If the BTC were being given away while nothing was received in return, this would not be considered a scam. If it required someone to do something, it would be a scam. For example: "Everyone who signs up at my affiliate link will receive 0.1BTC, up to 1000 users!"

Of course, they can still close the offer early, but they would still be responsible for everything prior to that (maybe with a few minute leeway right before they closed the offer, though)

Scenario 2
Quote
Send me 0.1 BTC, and I will double it in a week! I will double 100 users!
After doubling 50 users, refuses to double 51st user, paying it back in a week:
Quote
Sorry bro, ran out, and I need to minimize my losses. I paid you back your 0.1 BTC, sorry it took so long. I don't know what I was thinking when I made the OP.
This is a scam. Imagine this simpler scenario:

I take out 2 loans: one from Hashking, and one from Kluge. Both loans are for 100BTC and have 10% interest for a one-week term.
I pay back Kluge 110BTC after the week, but I only pay Hashking 100BTC.

If I'm unable/unwilling to work something out in good faith with Hashking AND nobody else is willing to loan me the 10 BTC difference AND several days have passed without any kind of resolution, I deserve the scammer tag.

Scenario 3
Quote
I'm going to bet up to 100 BTC that the Penguins will win the Stanley Cup this year. Just send to [address] and I will return to one of the inputs if I lose. 1:1 odds, normal rules apply. I'm well trusted here, so don't worry about escrow.
After the Rangers win the cup:
Quote
I'm so sorry! I intended the bet to be a joke. I never expected anyone to send. I returned all the money sent, plus 1% extra as compensation for the time.
Unless you can prove that you wouldn't have been paid if the outcome had gone the other way, you're a scammer. Even that would be shaky, though.

Scenario 4
Quote
I'm going to bet up to 100 BTC that the Blue Jays will lose tomorrow’s game. Anyone interested, post your address and amount here!
After the Blue Jays win:
Quote
Look, I'm not going to lose this bet on poor umpires. It was clear that the umpires were biased, deliberately calling a few shady Jays runs "safe". I'm not going to ask you to remit the funds, but I won't pay out either.
Umpires are part of the game and should have been considered when the bet was initially made. If you try to claim otherwise, I'd ask you to explain why sports that can clearly afford it aren't completely refereed by computers.

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September 12, 2012, 02:57:29 AM
 #4

Option 1 states that user would pay Up to 100 BTC...50 is between 100, so it is up to... The rest are scammy as hell though in my honest opinion.

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September 12, 2012, 10:14:21 PM
 #5

Where's the option for none of the above?
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September 21, 2012, 01:38:55 AM
 #6

Where's the option for none of the above?

Apparently mine is the only "none" vote so far? Not sure what's up. Either a mod added that option JUST before I opened the thread, or they've been deleting all the votes for "none"

I just clicked "none" because I wanted to see how people were voting, but have no real opinion. Good luck.

Edited to add:
((...snip...))
Apparently mine is the only "none" vote so far? Not sure what's up. Either a mod added that option JUST before I opened the thread, or they've been deleting all the votes for "none"
((...snip...))

Oh, or another option:

maybe nobody has been wanting to see the results and/or nobody voted "none" so far?
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September 21, 2012, 03:37:58 AM
 #7

Scenario 5
A Bitcoin stock exchange goes down and Account A posts a screenshot saying they own an asset's stock owned by Account B. The Account B refuses to pay. Are they worthy of a scammer tag?

Scenario 6
Account A is owned jointly by a husband/wife team that promises to deliver 100 Bitcoin over time, 5 Bitcoin per year to Account B. The husband and wife separate, and the husband decides he's not going to honor the deal, but he'll let the wife own the account. He takes his 50 Bitcoin and walks. Does Account A deserve a scammer tag now that it is owned by the wife? (What if it is revealed the husband/wife was actually made up and it was run by one account?)

Scenario 7
Accounts A-C jointly invest in a scheme offered by Account D, with a contract written up that he'll perform certain spending of the Bitcoin with each of the other accounts getting an equal vote in the deal. Account D announces later on to Account A that Account B is his sockpuppet and as long as A gives him 50% of what Account C put into the operation, he'll agree to however Account A wants to spend the other 50% of his money. Later on everyone finds out Account B is Account D's sockpuppet. Which of the four accounts gets the scammer tag and why?

(I'm actually surprised scammers haven't tried these last two before, or maybe they have to some extent)

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Maged
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September 21, 2012, 04:38:31 AM
 #8

Scenario 5
A Bitcoin stock exchange goes down and Account A posts a screenshot saying they own an asset's stock owned by Account B. The Account B refuses to pay. Are they worthy of a scammer tag?
Depends on the evidence. If the stock exchange were to get Zhou Tonged and lose all data and backups, I'd lean towards "no".

Scenario 6
Account A is owned jointly by a husband/wife team that promises to deliver 100 Bitcoin over time, 5 Bitcoin per year to Account B. The husband and wife separate, and the husband decides he's not going to honor the deal, but he'll let the wife own the account. He takes his 50 Bitcoin and walks. Does Account A deserve a scammer tag now that it is owned by the wife? (What if it is revealed the husband/wife was actually made up and it was run by one account?)
Yes, because the tag is to warn people about the fact that the account cannot be trusted, regardless of who owns it. If the wife also had a personal account, that one might be left off the hook, though. Again, this is just in the general case, since this kind of issue will likely be much more complicated than you make it out to be. What happens will depend on the contract, the evidence that more than one person used the account, how the separation went down, and possibly more that I can't think of.

Scenario 7
Accounts A-C jointly invest in a scheme offered by Account D, with a contract written up that he'll perform certain spending of the Bitcoin with each of the other accounts getting an equal vote in the deal. Account D announces later on to Account A that Account B is his sockpuppet and as long as A gives him 50% of what Account C put into the operation, he'll agree to however Account A wants to spend the other 50% of his money. Later on everyone finds out Account B is Account D's sockpuppet. Which of the four accounts gets the scammer tag and why?
In the general case, none of them. Unless D went to extremely lengths to cover up that he is also B, to the point of fraud, and the only reason A and C didn't know that D and B were the same person was because they never did their due diligence, then that's just fine. But again, this is also one that is anything but straight forward.

(I'm actually surprised scammers haven't tried these last two before, or maybe they have to some extent)
Why bother? Sure, you might not get marked as a scammer or suffer any real-life consequences, but you'd still have to start over with gaining trust. For example, Zhou Tong never actually did anything wrong (we think), but I'd guess that you still won't take part in any of his future ventures. Same for Team Intersango.

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September 21, 2012, 08:35:12 AM
 #9

Dunno, maybe 4 is a scam.

1 and 2 definitely are not. Sorry guys but if you expect to become rich by posting on the forum and then you don't become rich, so much fail for you. In 2 he send back money, so it is not a scam.

3 and 4...well they are bet, but in 3 you still do not lose your money. In 4 it's not clear.

My general opinion is that if you don't lose money it's not a scam. But it seems here the "scammer" tag is driven more by greed than something else. "hurr durr he said he give 1btc to everyone who post in the forum and now doesn't, scamscamscam".

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September 21, 2012, 11:42:23 AM
 #10

1. If nothing was expected in return, no. If something was expected in return, then yes absolutely. I mention this because I see this a lot on the forums. People "giving away/free" when it isn't.

2. Maybe yes. Depends on the situation and whether the user is happy with the outcome.

3. Yes.

4. Yes.

My general opinion is that if you don't lose money it's not a scam. But it seems here the "scammer" tag is driven more by greed than something else.
Oh this is rich, someone who once argued with me that mining using someone else's electricity without their consent or knowledge is ok, is lecturing about greed and ethics.


Quote
"hurr durr he said he give 1btc to everyone who post in the forum and now doesn't, scamscamscam".
I haven't seen anything like that, not sure what you're talking about. Unless you just needed an excuse to make this weeks "hurr durr hyperbole" post, in which case carry on I guess  Roll Eyes.

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September 21, 2012, 03:19:23 PM
 #11

Quote
without their consent or knowledge
As far as i know i always said that the owner of the computer allowed the user to use the computer.

Anyway as i said, 1 and 2 no. 3 and 4 involve bets and people actually sending money, so i'm unsure.

Real scams are thing like pirate, mybitcoin, bitcoinica and so on.
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September 21, 2012, 07:38:03 PM
 #12



  • Scenario 2: "I need to minimize my losses" and "I don't know what I was thinking" are not valid excuses to break a contract. This does not look like an acceptable default case. Refuses to pay debt, that's not how you do it.
  • Scenario 3: No proof of security against him winning the bet. Requires punishment with larger loss than his wager. (Fraud profitability limit)
  • Scenario 4: The winner was announced, there is no ambiguity. Same as last one, this requires punishment with larger loss than his wager.

All three deserve a scammer tag. This kind of behavior is counterproductive to any marketplace. Letting people get away with such things is an invitation for liars and cheaters.

Whether scenario 1 is fraud depends on when he makes the statement and whether the change has a negative effect on the users that already joined. If it was just some statement not relevant to anybody in particular, I don't see much of a problem.
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September 22, 2012, 10:57:17 PM
 #13

Scenario 2 is not a scam. Someone said he would double the money you send him and instead he just send back your money. How the hell is this a scam?

No wonder people keep falling for scams, they don't even know what a scam is. Scenario 2 is just someone giving out money for free, you should be happy if your money get doubled, not angry if not  Roll Eyes

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September 22, 2012, 11:02:45 PM
 #14

A scammer tag is randomly applied to someone on the forum that may or may not be a criminal.
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September 23, 2012, 01:49:39 AM
 #15

Scenario 2 is not a scam. Someone said he would pay 1% interest on the money you send him and instead he just send back your money after one year. How the hell is this a scam?
Now the reason becomes apparent. "Someone" was basically borrowing at 100% weekly interest, and defaulted on the interest. Money has what we call "time value," and scenario 2 is a theft of time value.

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September 23, 2012, 06:24:29 AM
 #16

I posted 5, 6, & 7 because even if we haven't seen them yet, I suspect we will see forms of them over time. I can already tell several of them are getting more and more complicated.

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September 23, 2012, 06:59:42 AM
 #17

Scenario 2 is not a scam. Someone said he would double the money you send him and instead he just send back your money. How the hell is this a scam?
It's a scam because the scammer got use of someone else's money without paying the fee he agreed to pay for that use.

Scenario 6
Account A is owned jointly by a husband/wife team that promises to deliver 100 Bitcoin over time, 5 Bitcoin per year to Account B. The husband and wife separate, and the husband decides he's not going to honor the deal, but he'll let the wife own the account. He takes his 50 Bitcoin and walks. Does Account A deserve a scammer tag now that it is owned by the wife? (What if it is revealed the husband/wife was actually made up and it was run by one account?)
You can't sell an obligation. If you could, I'd sell my $20,000 of credit card debt to some homeless guy for a beer. The details might depend on whether the husband wife team has some kind of independent existence that can own the obligation and can become the sole property of the wife. But otherwise, they remain jointly responsible.

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September 23, 2012, 09:17:46 AM
 #18

Scenario 2 is not a scam. Someone said he would double the money you send him and instead he just send back your money. How the hell is this a scam?

What if someone asked you for a loan, promised to pay interest, then once they repay the loan they only repay the principal and say "Sorry I don't have the interest"?

You seem to be stuck in a thought loop of promised returns=greed. 

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September 23, 2012, 01:41:54 PM
 #19

A scammer tag is randomly applied to someone on the forum that may or may not be a criminal.

"may or may not..." definitions for crime vary by jurisdiction / country. Figuring out how the politics of bitcoin work is all so bothersome. International consensus and whatnot. I feel almost worried that someone will brand me a troll for being among those asking serious questions about this policy / community politics stuff.
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September 24, 2012, 06:43:15 AM
 #20

I've come to the conclusion that scammer tags are a huge waste of everyone's time. We should do away with them on this forum. The original intent of the tagswas to warn newcomers to be careful in general. Right? To inform everyone that scammers exist and are on the prowl. Scammer tags are never useful for actually avoiding scams, as we all know.

I think doing away with the tags, and just posting a blanket warning that scams abound, would be a better move. We are all free to start polls on whether something is a scam, and that should be enough. It may be easy for a less vigilant newcomer to see a 500 post count user with gold coins instead of Xs and be reassured. Without that false safety net, there is more room to promote the ideal of due diligence.

Idk, just a rant. Carry on.
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