The arbitrator has responded and relayed to me what the counter-party has said to explain about their error; apparently their bank used to be a different bank (it was acquired or merged or something), so there are a couple of BIC’s associated with this bank and the wrong one was used (they used an internet search to determine their BIC, rather than referring to their actual bank’s documentation of their accounts, presumably).
The counter-party is from a different country to me and I have no idea about any of the banks they have over there (or even in my own country really). I’m also very ignorant about the kinds of scams that may or may not be possible (perhaps there have been instances of banks agreeing to reverse SEPA payments, or maybe this is impossible).
This kind of case seems to pose a bit of a moral dilemma. It seems very likely to have been a genuine mistake.
I’ve just spent a bit of time having a cursory look to see if there have been any people claiming their SEPA credit transfers have been reversed, and it seems it’s not unheard of. I get the impression that it depends on your bank’s policies and whether they will take your money without asking you if a sender claims fraud.
So on the one hand, it would seem the nice/good/proper thing to do, in human terms, would be to confirm receipt of payment so that the trade can be closed and everybody can carry on with other things.
On the other hand, a mistake has been made by the counter-party in using the system. A mistake that seems to bring into question the legitimacy of the contract, which I suspect may carry some kind of value in legal terms (e.g. if there was a fraud/reversal claim by the buyer). Again, it seems unlikely that my bank would let this happen, but I can’t say I feel certain that the effect here is negligible/insignificant.
It seems the safest thing to do is to keep the BTC if this is possible, but this would also feel pretty terrible, like you’ve just stolen somebody’s money. Also arguably bad for the community if newbies can make a mistake like this and end up losing such a sum of money, and so probably get scared away. On the other hand, many argue that mistakes in using this technology should be punished and this is the only way people will learn. And of course any scam attempts/signs should be defended against and punished as heavily as possible, right?
So yeah basically I feel really conflicted in this situation tbh. Obviously I also have a heavy bias due to the 100% profit opportunity for the value of the trade.
Also, in terms of anonymity/privacy, once you’re in a trade with somebody, you have the name of their account, and you might be able to come to this support forum and maybe other places and identify your counter-party. I’m sure it would be pretty easy for my counter-party to do this right now. So that’s another consideration.
Decentralization sure ain’t easy!