Pastor Phil Vollman discovered Bitcoin in 2013, and despite a modest wage and a tight budget, he began accumulating small amounts. Over the next five years of disciplined savings, he managed to amass 14.2 BTC, along with 507 Litecoin.
Now this was no prosperity preacher plan, with dreams of lambos and luxury living. Rather, Phil, hoped to secure the financial future for his wife and children, including an adopted daughter, whom suffers from a disability.
Unfortunately, on July 29 last year, Phil's Bitcoin hopes were dashed when a scammer stole all of his 14.2 BTC and 507 LTC. This was not because he kept his crypto on an exchange that got hacked. In fact, Phil stored his private keys on a Trezor hardware device. However, on this particular day, when plugging the Trezor into his laptop he was prompted to do a firmware update. What Phil didn't realize was, that although the website appeared identical to the official Trezor site, it was a fake, set up by the scammer.
Despite his better judgement, Phil followed the prompt to enter his seed words, which then allowed the thief to transfer away all of the Bitcoin and Litecoin. After so long taking the utmost care with crypto security, one mistake and years of saving and sacrifice were gone. And the reality is that at 68 years of age, with the current price of Bitcoin, there is no way that Phil will be able to acquire that much again. That is unless...
... the crypto community pulls together to help. We did it for Andreas Antonopoulos after Roger Ver questioned his investment choices. Some even did it for Peter Schiff, in an attempt to warm him up towards Bitcoin, despite his net worth already being 70 million dollars. So can we do it for Phil? I believe, yes.
With the backing of members of the crypto, business and Christian communities, a support site and fundraising campaign has been set up to get Phil and his family back to where they were before the thief struck.
A list of those supporting this campaign can be found here.
You can donate and follow the progress of the fundraiser on Tallycoin.
Along with Bitcoin & Litecoin, Pastor Phil is now accepting donations of Bitcoin Rhodium (XRC). The QR codes for Bitcoin, Litecoin & XRC donations are also included below this article.
While I have only touched briefly on it here, Phil and his wife have lived an extraordinary life of serving and caring for others, particulary sick, disabled and unwanted children. You can read their full story, written by published author, F. Daniel Somrack, here: Bagpipes, Bitcoin and Broken Dreams.
In addition to this, crypto YouTuber, Brian the UK Bitcoin Master, hosted a show where Bitcoin storage and security expert, Rocky Palumbo, interviewed Pastor Phil about the loss of his Bitcoin and the events leading up to it. You can view it below and really get a feel for the heart of this man.
Less than two weeks after its release, the second 'Bitcoin to the Moon' merchandise logo has been stolen by counterfeit t-shirt producers who already have it available for sale at AliExpress.com
While these thieves obviously appreciate cool design when they see it, and the logo does promote this website, they will not be let off the hook. It would be easier just to turn a blind eye and take the attitude that it's a losing battle and will happen again anyway. However, if no action is taken, it's like giving the counterfeit operation the green light without even causing them any inconvenience. Bitcoin to the Moon will take a stand.
I'll post an update on the result of the action as soon as it comes to hand.
In the meantime, if you want an official, approved 'Bitcoin to the Moon' t-shirt, you can get one here: Bitcoin to the Moon Merchandise Store.
The number of scam sites that are being set up with the express purpose of stealing Bitcoin from the unsuspecting is on the rise. They often pretend to be connected with legitimate forks of the Bitcoin blockchain, and claim that they can assist you with accessing the associated cryptocurrency dividends.
In order to facilitate you receiving the dividend coins, these sites ask you to enter your Bitcoin wallet seed. This is a list of words that once revealed to the scammers, will enable them to access and steal your Bitcoin. A legitimate site will not ask you for this seed, nor your private key. Never give this information away, no matter what a site claims they will give you or why they say it is needed. There is only one reason and that is to part you with your Bitcoin.
The images above and below are typical of how these types of scam websites are set up. Please note that they are in no way connected to either SegWit2x or Bitcoin Diamond. The perpetrators go to great lengths to impersonate legitimate entities. The look of the fake sites or social media accounts can be almost identical to the real ones, as can the domain names or usernames. For example, one Twitter account I saw replaced the 'i' in 'Bitcoin Diamond' with an 'l' to make 'Bitcoin DIamond', and judging by the number of followers, this subtle deception had worked extremely well.
So keep your Bitcoin seed and private key to yourself, and your Bitcoin will be safe from the scammers seeking it.
Recently I wrote an article about a Bitcoin Gold scam site, claimbtcgpu.org, that was trying to trick unsuspecting visitors into entering the private key to their Bitcoin, under the guise that this was a requirement to claim free Bitcoin Gold. Shortly afterwards, the site was shut down.
Undeterred, the same scammers are back, however, this time they are using the domain name claimbitcoin.gold. They have also set up a twitter account that is strikingly similar in appearance and name to the official Bitcoin Gold twitter account. You can see a screenshot of it in the image at the top of this article. The username of the fake account is Bitcoin Gold @btcgpu, while the official account is Bitcoin Gold @bitcoingold. The use of btcgpu in addition to the name Bitcoin Gold makes it seem particularly official, as btcgpu.org is the official website of the real Bitcoin Gold.
To sweeten the deal, and the appeal of the trap, the scammers are claiming to reward those who sign up with 100 free Bitcoin Gold, in addition to one for every Bitcoin held. Hopefully the fake website and twitter account will be taken down soon, but don't be surprised to see them rear their ugly heads again using yet another domain name and social media account.
You can be sure that you don't fall for this or any other Bitcoin scam, now or in the future, by never sharing your Bitcoin Private Key or Bitcoin Seed. Any party asking for this information is attempting to access and take possession of your Bitcoin.
The image above is of a scam website, claimbtcgpu.org, which has been set up to steal Bitcoin from unsuspecting people who are new to the cryptocurrency space or unaware of the security protocols involved.
While the site claims to assist you in claiming your Bitcoin Gold, it has no association with the real Bitcoin Gold, whose legitimate and official website can be found at btcgpu.org. You can read my article about Bitcoin Gold here.
The scam site looks professional, provides detailed information, has a Bitcoin Gold logo and uses a domain name that is the same as the official site, except for having the word 'claim' at the front. What gives it away as a scam is that it asks you to enter your Bitcoin Private Key or Bitcoin Seed, as can be seen in the image below.
Never share your Bitcoin Private Key or Bitcoin Seed with anyone, because having either of these enables someone to access and steal your Bitcoin. Any website that asks you to provide them is a phishing site that is attempting to scam you. The same goes for emails, texts or phone calls. It doesn't matter what they say, or what excuse or reason they give. The only reason for wanting it is to steal from you. Never, ever do it.
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