How to buy on LocalBitcoins and not get scammed.


We are long time ProTraders on and constantly hear about people getting scammed there.  The vast majority of those victims are people who don’t know what they are doing (the rest are scammers but that is a different story). We give the same advice over and over so here is a list of things you can do to avoid being scammed on LocalBitcoins when buying bitcoins

Disclaimer: There is no guaranteed way of avoiding scams. Bitcoins are a scammer’s FAVORITE way to get paid for his/her dirty work. Bitcoins are at the top of their criminal list. Even above credit cards and personal information. That makes them a big target. Even the smartest and most vigilant people occasionally get scammed.

If you lose your bitcoin, no one can get them back, If you cannot afford to lose that money, you shouldn’t be buying bitcoins online. 

The safest way to buy bitcoins is always face to face transactions with cash in a public place like a Starbucks or Barnes and Noble.

Back to the tips for not getting scammed on

  1. The most important tip is  DO NOT CHOOSE A SELLER BASED ON PRICE! Pick based on their history. Lets say you want to buy 0.5BTC. A well established seller has a price of $350 a bitcoin and his less reputable competition is charging $320BTC. You will pay the reputable seller $175 or the weaker seller$160 for that .05BTC. It is not worth losing all your money to save $15.
  2. Make sure you have 2FA (2 factor authentication) enabled on your account BEFORE starting any trade or transferring any bitcoin.
  3. Always start a trade from clicking on the “BUY BITCOINS” link at the top of the page. If you advertise in the forums many of the responses will be from scammers.
  4. Do not respond to ads in the forums. Most are spammers or sellers with dubious reputations that cannot get business any other way.
  5. Read the seller’s profile before starting the trade (click the image to see a larger version)
  6. Do not start a trade with anyone that has less than 98% positive feedback
  7. Do not start a trade with anyone that has less than 500 completed trades with at least 50 people
  8. Do not start a trade with anyone who has an account that is less than 2 years old
  9. Search the forums on for that seller’s username. See if they have any complaints against them
  10. Start a trade and send a message stating you wish to trade. Wait for the seller to respond before you send any other information
    LBC does have horrible customer service but their automated escrow system is there to protect you.
  12. Once the seller has responded they are ready to trade, send your payment info through the message box of the trade you started.
    Do not send your payment information any other way!
    Do not email your payment information
    Do not text your payment information
    Do not call anyone and give them your payment information over the phone.
  13. Mark your payment as made. Do not do this until you have sent the payment. If you mark the payment as made before sending your payment or to keep the trade open, the seller will likely block you and leave you negative feedback.
  14. If you have sent payment information do not cancel the trade.
  15. Localbitcoins wallet system protects you (as long as you have 2FA turned on). Do not send bitcoins to any other wallet address than the one you own.
  16. Do not give anyone you are trading with your bitcoin wallet address. If they ask for it they are likely trying to scam you.

Have any other tips for buying Bitcoin without getting scammed? Leave us a comment.

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25 thoughts on “How to buy on LocalBitcoins and not get scammed.”

  • Well your own profile now shows only 96% trusted, so by your own advice don’t buy bitcoins from you!
    There’s also 5 people that blocked you? Why?

  • Hello Dude! While you questions is obvious trolling we will still answer it.

    As many of the well known professional traders know, LocalBitcoins recently changed their feedback system. It has allowed even more abuse of the system than before. As we regularly protect new buyers and point out how not to get scammed, we are a target for those scammers that want to ruin those reputations.

    You can read more about the changes at the link below.

  • local bitcoins is Big scam. They Scam people. with there website along with there sellers. on it. Bewarre not to Deal on Such websites.

  • I don’t know much about bitcoins and the game but have only ever purchased bitcoins on their, a little over 10 times and never had a problem in fact, I’m confused as to how buyers or sellers are actually getting scammed?

    From what I know, you just wait for the person to put the money in your account and release their bitcoins once done so how are sellers actually getting scammed?

  • I’m a selling BTC for the first time now, is it safe to sell to someone that their payment method is via chase quick pay? The buyer has a 100% feedback with 500+ trades

  • You seem to come from a different planet.

    Some of the points u mentioned above:

    Do not start a trade with anyone that has less than 98% positive feedback – I have had 2 negative feedbacks recently. It was all because I asked them to verify. It was also mentioned in my t & c’s & has dropped my ranking from 100 % to 93%. So u think such genuine traders must suffer coz LBC doesnt deal with dispute on feedbacks.

    Do not start a trade with anyone that has less than 500 completed trades with at least 50 people – No comments . Refer to the 1st statement of this msg.

    Do not start a trade with anyone who has an account that is less than 2 years old – Do you think no one should have traded with you when u started NEW. Again refer to my 1st statement from my msg.

    • Then people shouldn’t trade with you. There is no real reason to pick an inexperienced seller with a bad rating over the much more professional sellers with better service.

      Even if your rate is 2% lower, on a $500 trade that is only a difference of $10. That little difference isn’t worth the risk of dealing with bad or amatuer bitcoin traders.

    • Are you saying that people should pick less experienced traders that may screw things up or scam them?

      Anyone can create accounts and do a couple dozen fake trades or little trades to build up feedback so they can scam people. The 2 years and multiple trades with different people is the most important part.

  • Rubbish! Just use Paypal. Make sure that you mark the payment as a service. This is an intangible and cannot be refunded. If the other person does retract their payment, simply contact Paypal and advise them that the transaction was for an intangible object and is not eligible for refund, the funds will be placed back into your account and Paypal will deal with them.

  • Wonderful staff and good advise I want buy bitcoin but I was just wanted to find out info before I do the purchase as there is a lot scums

  • I just bought some bitcoin but the seller says he is yet to receive the money I sent through PayPal. He contacted PayPal and was told to wait for 24hrs. Is this some form of scam?

  • I am a brand new to the site and none wanted to sell me bitcoin. They kept asking for me to write papers and take pictures with it.. i was trying to pay with zelle… they wanted my bank statement + my photo + my license.. sounds like they are trying to scam me. they would have my photo ID and my bank statement and a photo of what i look like even holding my ID. WTF?

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