Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020 | Written by Renee
Two accomplished poker players have recently fallen victims to a clever scam. The incident took place in a Skype group for poker players who are into trading. American poker pro James Romero and online PLO crusher “Grazvydas” lost $20K after a scammer created two Skype profiles mimicking their names.
The fraudster used fake account names to close a deal between the two poker pros and made off with $20K in bitcoins, leaving Grazvydas out of pocket by $20K. To make matters worse, the affected players got involved in a heated argument as to who should be blamed for the incident.
Scammer Lurking on Skype
The entire incident was shared by Grazvydas on Two Plus Two after Romero’s hostile responses to him when he brought the incident up on the Skype chat group. It began when Grazvydas expressed his intention to swap his PokerStars/ACR funds, ($20K minimum). Romero also posted in the same group that he had $60K Luxon and wants to trade bitcoins ($5K minimum).
The scammer, who created a fake “James Romero” profile, contacted Grazvis1 that he wants to trade. Grazvydas responded and asked for a hard vouch prior to closing the deal.
The scammer, who also created a fake Grazvydas account, messaged the real James Romero and offered to trade his ACR for bitcoins. The latter agreed and also asked for a hard vouch. The scammer complied and the trade was made. Grazvydas sent $20K to the ACR account of the real Romero. After receiving the $20K in ACR funds, Romero then sent Bitcoin to the fake Grazvydas. Meaning, the $20K bitcoin did not reach the real Grazvydas.
Who Was Responsible?
As the transactions were being made, both players were clueless that they were actually dealing with an impostor. Grazvydas eventually figured out they had been victimized by a clever scammer and immediately raised the issue on the same Skype chat group.
But Romero’s responses were something he had not expected. Romero apparently pointed fingers at him for being careless and negligent.
Disappointed, Grazvydas took to Two Plus Two to share his experience and get some thoughts from forum members. But Romero remained unsympathetic, saying he had already given a lot of time answering Grazvydas regarding the incident and couldn’t any respond any further.
In his replies, Romero highlighted his busy schedule, suggesting that responding to Grazvydas would only be a waste of time. Romero’s attitude and manner of response drew flak from the poker community, considering that both of them failed to conduct verification checks before pushing through with the deal, and therefore he was also liable for allowing it to happen.
Some players think Romero did not care because he wasn’t the one who went out of pocket. While others also sided with Romero, the pro eventually gave in and decided to split the $20K in losses by sending back $10K to Grazvydas.
Grazvydas Demands Public Apology From Romero
Both players ended up with a $10K loss, but Grazvydas wanted more than just the $10K. He wanted Romero to issue a public apology for the way he handled the situation, and for his rude responses. The online poker pro said Romero should promise to be more responsible since he is a self-proclaimed “trustworthy trader”, and that he should be extra careful especially if he’s the one sending second in transaction.
Will Romero apologize? In a way, he did as he agreed to split the losses, which showed that he accepted some part of the blame.
This latest scam on poker players is yet another warning for poker players who are transacting online. Remember to always verify who you are dealing with, to avoid having a similar experience. Poker players are attractive targets for sophisticated scammers and cheats. Modern technology has made it easier for scammers and hackers to carry out unscrupulous practices, so always be vigilant.