We have been trading on Paxful since 2015 and are forum volunteers there. We often see people claiming to have been scammed and cheated out of money. Most of the people get scammed because they don’t know what they are doing and don’t take the time to read the wealth of info Paxful provides about how to buy bitcoin.
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, 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 Paxful.com
- 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 $500 a bitcoin and his less reputable competition is charging $480 per BTC. You will pay the reputable seller $250 for half a bitcoin or the weaker seller $240 for that .05BTC. It is not worth losing all your money to save $10.
- Make sure you have 2FA (2 factor authentication) enabled on your account BEFORE starting any trade or transferring any bitcoin.
- 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.
- Do not respond to ads in the forums. Most are spammers or sellers with dubious reputations that cannot get business any other way.
- Read the seller’s profile before starting the trade (click the image to see a larger version)
- Do not start a trade with anyone that has less than 250 positive feedback. Good sellers will only have less than 1 negative out of every 250 reviews.
- Only choose sellers that have completed trades with at least 500 different people
- Do not start a trade with anyone who has an account that is less than 6 months old
- Make sure their account is verified
- Start a trade and send a message stating you wish to trade. Wait for the seller to respond before you send any other information
- No matter what the seller says DO NOT LET THEM TALK YOU INTO TRADING OFF THE WEBSITE OR CANCELING ESCROW. IF ANYONE TRIES REPORT THEM TO THE PAXFUL SUPPORT STAFF IMMEDIATELY.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you have sent payment information do not cancel the trade.
- The Paxful 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.
- 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.