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I was approached out of the blue being told that I was supposed to receive a sudden windfall, someone opened an automatic trading account in my name, or offered to invest in a lucrative mining contract. A while later, I'm being told that there are now "thousands of dollars" waiting to be claimed by me.

However, when I try to withdraw the money, the operator asks me for an "advance fee" or an "unlocking fee" so that they can pay me out my money.

That sounds fishy, what is going on? What should I do?


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No, when transferring or selling Bitcoin you don't ever have to first pay any sort of extra fee in advance.

Being asked to pay in extra money for any sort of fee is a trick of confidence tricksters (conmen, scammers, fraudsters)

Ordinary Bitcoin transactions will deduct a small amount of Bitcoin from the balance as a transaction fee (not a transfer fee), but this is not something extra you pay in. Current transaction fees are very high at around $30 per transaction (a year ago they were less than $1). The actual fee you should pay depends on how complex the transaction is and how quickly you want the transaction to be processed. You should not be paying more than this and it should automatically be deducted from your Bitcoin balance, not paid in as an extra amount. This is a transaction fee not a transfer fee. There is no such thing as a transfer fee or transfer code in normal Bitcoin transactions.

When dealing with any business, no fees should ever come as a surprise. You should be able to find the business terms and conditions on their web page without talking to anyone at that business. Any fees that come as a surprise are a sign of possible fraud.

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  • Hi RedGrittyBrick, I just wanted to let you know that I merged the question that you had originally posted this answer on with this topic. – Murch Apr 15 at 21:46
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Never pay to receive a withdrawal. If they wanted to send you money, they could deduct the fees from the sum they claim you own in your account.

It's a common scam to be asked for money so that you withdraw your funds. In fact, if you pay, they'll find a different excuse and ask you again to pay them, while you in reality never had any money on their website.

Your account balance might show $10k, $100k, $100m but don't be fooled by their values displayed on their website. Never ever pay to withdraw any bitcoins.

Seek help from your local authorities.

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This a good example on what these kind of scams look like: enter image description here

enter image description here

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A typical scam pattern. A serious partner would deduct the fee from your balance.

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