• The article discusses a recent trend in crypto scams involving con artists who approach blockchain project executives with an elaborate investment narrative, followed by a face-to-face meeting at a restaurant.
• These scammers then abscond with cryptocurrencies worth single-digit millions of dollars and disappear.
• Cases have been referred to authorities in Austria and Italy, and police are categorizing this wave of crypto scams as „rip deals.“

Crypto Con Artists Leave Trail of ‚Rip Deal‘ Victims

Crypto scams have become increasingly common over the last few years, as fraudsters target crypto companies with schemes designed to steal digital assets from unsuspecting victims. In Europe, authorities are now investigating a new type of scam that involves con artists inviting investors to restaurants for face-to-face meetings before disappearing with their cryptocurrency wallets.

Exploiting the Naivety of Crypto Companies

The nascent and barely regulated crypto industry has provided fertile ground for hackers and pump-and-dump schemes, some netting hundreds of millions of dollars in just seconds. This latest scam follows a similar pattern, but is more elaborate as it requires weeks or months spent courting executives from blockchain projects before they vanish with cryptocurrencies belonging to the victim.

Authorities Investigating Across Europe

Victims and authorities alike have reported cases across various European cities such as Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Brussels. It’s believed these cases have been referred to Austrian and Italian authorities who are in the process of investigating them as „rip deals“.

What Can Be Done?

Given how vulnerable crypto companies can be due to their relative naivety towards financial investments, there needs to be greater awareness about potential scams and how best to protect against them. Companies should also ensure they conduct due diligence on any potential investors before signing off on any investment deal – especially if it involves meeting face-to-face at a restaurant!


As the crypto industry continues to grow rapidly in size and complexity, so too will its vulnerability to scams like this one. It’s therefore important that companies remain vigilant when presented with any kind of potentially lucrative investment opportunity – even if it appears too good to be true!