BTC seller may be a scammer?

Hi, I’ve entered into a trade to buy BTC, and I’ve attempted to make a payment to the seller’s bank account. The seller’s account is supposedly a business bank account (i.e. name in format company name LTD), however there appears to be a problem with the account. My bank did not fully process the payment and instead returned the funds back to my account. I don’t yet know the reasons why, but I know I copied and pasted the details from bisq, so it’s not a typo on my part.
I’ve now contacted the seller and asked them to check their bank details in bisq are correct, which the seller has confirmed. I then advised the seller that I can attempt to make the payment again but I will most likely need to speak with my bank. The seller then responded that they have just realised there is in fact a problem with their bank account, and then the seller sent alternative bank account details via the chat, asking me to pay into another company account (i.e. different company name LTD).

For info - I checked the names of both companies, the first appears legit but has only been trading for 11 months, the 2nd company name appears to no longer be trading.

Either way, I’ve got no intention of sending a payment outside of the bisq trade details, and I’m thinking I should just request mediation. Has anyone else dealt with a similar situation?

Hi, I would suggest mediation and mutually cancel the trade.

I think I encountered the same trader due to the strikingly similar circumstances. In conversation I was told the chat is recorded in the event of a dispute and asked to make payment to a different company account than the one mentioned in the trade. Like you, I checked the basic details of the two companies and found the same information you did about one currently trading, and the other recently ceased trading (in December) and was struck-off. The trader mentioned someone else had a problem sending funds across and that they had bounced back. I was also offered to request mediation to cancel the trade with no penalties.

If you wish to cross-check the bank details of both yourself, the sort code and account number (e.g. for a UK bank) reveal what services are active on the accounts. If I’m mistaken and the trader’s bank is based elsewhere the exact terminology varies between countries but I’m sure similar services are available.

I hope this helps and you have a successful trade experience whatever you decide.

Scams on Bisq are extremely hard to make work, given how the trade protocol is structured; especially for sellers, who are needed to lock both the deposit and the whole trade amount beforehand.
In this case, the seller had their bank account locked (happened to me as well), as receiving payments from many different locations might raise suspicions on the bank side, but I’m just hypothesizing here…

In any case, NEVER send money to a different account when it is requested in trader’s chat, rather ALWAYS open mediation, either asking the mediator to let you cancel the trade, and everyone gets their deposit back, or allow the seller to give another payment receiving account to send money to, but this absolutely needs to happen during mediation! Trader chat is the place to agree on little things, like timing of payment, maybe some specific payment reason to place in the transfer… while changing payment account altogether is a significant change.

Also, regarding:

it is true that trader chat is recorded in trade details on each trader’s Bisq instsance, BUT it’s not saved on the p2p network, and any screenshots might be tampered, so it’s proof for the mediator, just not hard proof. There will be probably a feature where traders can send to mediator trader chat contents with a hash, to verify the paste is actually truthful, but, as of now, it is not implemented, so refer to what I wrote above