Bitcoin’s growth has not only been noted by those online, Roma Gypsies in the Russian town of Obninsk have also used the digital currency’s popularity to make a few quick rubles in a scam of their own.
The Gypsies have been peddling novelty physical Bitcoins outside a local department store, swindling the public into believing these are the physical manifestation of the purely digital currency.
A great deal
The scam was noticed when an Obninsk resident posted a message on a social network message board warning people of what was happening.
Bitcoin’s growth and popularity seems to be reaching even more and more far flung places, however, understanding of the digital currency is still sorely lacking.
The women posted a note that read:
“Respectable-looking gypsies are selling Bitcoin outside the department store on Aksenov Street. My husband bought two for 1000 rubles, came home and they turned out to be fake and it’s not possible to sell them.”
Since 1000 rubles equates to about $17, that deal would seem too good to be true.
Money to be made
Indeed, the Gypsies persuaded the man that the price of Bitcoin was on the rise and not showing signs of slowing – no lies there. He was told that there were several more thousand rubles to be made off his own 1000 ruble investment.
The coins bear the recognisable Bitcoin logo, pressed upon a circuit board-looking background. But, of course, being physical, they are worth very little other than their novelty value.
One person on the message board offered some helpful advice for the hapless couple, saying that they may be able to sell them for that novelty value at an online trading site – probably for about 300 rubles.