Say, someone was scammed by a false online bitcoin mining service. He invested some money to buy the scammer’s service, the service was said to produce bitcoins online at a very fast speed without any user operation.
But when the victim was about to withdraw his money from the online mining site, his money was frozen.

However, prior to this, he agreed to the terms of use mistakenly (he skipped viewing the TOS and just hit the agree button) in the scammer’s website saying:

You must keep online while the mining is running, or you will not get your money back.

Yes, he got offline while mining, but the online mining was said to run at least 7 days to get money, and hanging 7 days online is pretty much impossible.

Could the scammer be accused? What evidence could the victim provide to accuse him?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Dale M
    Nov 21, 2019 at 3:44

3 Answers 3


Accused of what?

Clearly stating under which conditions you (the accuser) would earn money by doing nothing more than staying online for 7 days?

You agreed to these conditions, but did not fulfill them, so the scammer (the accused) was the one that earned money for doing nothing.

The scammer had the same motive as you had, earning money for doing nothing.

In the end a Judge will make a decision based on the presented situation and motive of the participants.

In this case the motives were the same, but you did not fulfill the conditions you agreed to, so the other - as agreed to - earned the money for doing nothing.

The Judge will probably come to the conclusion that had you, in the unlikely event of actually earning money for doing nothing, would not make a claim that the scammer was trying to commit a fraud.

So the Judge's final conclusion may be, that both parties had agreed to attempt fraud against each other and that only one would be successful.

Since the agreed result (as desired by both parties, whom we assume are not minors) came about, the Judge would probably dismiss this case to avoid further waste of the taxpayers money.

Based on the Jurisdiction, this will be worded differently - but in the final result will mean the same.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Pat W.
    Nov 20, 2019 at 10:37
  • 9
    Actually the OP would not have made money "by doing nothing more than staying online". The program would have used all their hardware at 100% cpu/gpu usage for 7 days, this can cost quite a lot in electricity bill. So OP was basically renting their electricity & hardware to the accused. Obviously if the accused did not have access to the hardware & electricity they were unable to produce bitcoins. Nov 20, 2019 at 12:39
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    @GiacomoAlzetta while the question may seem to match bitcoin scams where this is the modus operandi, there's nothing in the question indicating that's how this case in particular works. In theory nothing stops the operators of the scheme using the money paid upfront to rent hardware to do the mining independently of the OP's resources, even if the current market and technical state of the art makes it highly improbable this would be a viable business proposition.
    – Will
    Nov 20, 2019 at 13:38

This may be a good faith and fair dealing violation which would give the victim a civil cause of action to recover at least his original investment.

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    This, i think. It sounds as if the setup is this: client pays X and provides a PC for a week (CPU time, like a cloud computing service), service uses said PC to generate bitcoin (or more accurately, generate an expected payout Y). Client broke the contract by denying access to that PC, but one week, uninterrupted access may qualify as unreasonable.
    – Mars
    Nov 20, 2019 at 2:52
  • @Mars the scammer intentionally makes it impossible (or at least, almost impossible) so he would not return money.
    – gudako
    Nov 20, 2019 at 3:33
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    @Mars the scammer does not provide mining at all. He just makes the “7 days online” buried somewhere in the TOS, in order to freeze the users money, so the scammer get money from the user payment. But it’s hard for the user to provide evidence that “there is no mining at all”.
    – gudako
    Nov 20, 2019 at 3:38
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    Then it's as Columbia says, likely a good-faith violation. Not presenting the 7 days online clause clearly would be the problem point
    – Mars
    Nov 20, 2019 at 4:09

Your court will surely lack jurisdiction against an unidentified scammer in a foreign country hiding behind a sequence of VPNs.

Unless by some wild application of both skill and coincidience, you identify the scammer in a nation from which you have a chance of filing litigation.

Yes, you would have a case that the requirement to keep a web browser page open for a week is an unusual request that should be stated more clearly. Against you is how unrealistic your expectations were, being unclear on what you get in the bargain. he expectation of "getting something for nothing".

  • On your last point, what are you suggesting are the legal consequences of any unrealistic/unclear expectations? Do they invalidate the contract, or can the confused expectations themselves serve as one party's consideration in the contract?
    – Will
    Nov 20, 2019 at 10:02
  • Don't overgeneralize @Will . i am saying this one is unlikely to survive a sniff test. Nov 20, 2019 at 12:57
  • @harper-reinstate-monica your answer says "you would have a case... Against you is....". I recognise that the scheme fails the sniff test but am sceptical that this has legal implications to the disadvantage of the victim. If you just mean to make a general observation it would be better to be clearer that this doesn't have an impact on the OP's legal standing.
    – Will
    Nov 20, 2019 at 13:47

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