Beware of bitcoin blackmail scam
Mission Viejo Police Services is warning residents to beware of a blackmail scam, after a resident reported receiving an extortion letter in the mail from someone looking to collect a $2,500 bitcoin payment.
The scammer targeted a married man, claiming to know the person’s “secret” and having evidence of his “misadventures.” The blackmailer threatened to reveal the unspecified information to the man’s wife, friends and family if the letter was ignored and payment wasn’t made. To remain anonymous, the writer demanded bitcoin payment and provided a specific receiving bitcoin address and time period to cough up the confidentiality fee. Bitcoin is a digital asset and payment system. The system is peer-to-peer; users can transact directly without an intermediary.
The letter included instructions on how to make the deposit and told the man not to tell anyone what the bitcoin would be used for. The writer ended the letter by vowing to disappear and forget the referenced secret after receiving the payment.
Remember to never wire money, purchase bitcoins, gift cards or green dot cards in response to someone who is threatening you. If you have paid money and believe you’re a victim of fraud, contact our 24-hour dispatch line at 949-770-6011 to report the loss to law enforcement. Otherwise, the receipt of such a letter is not a crime but can be reported as attempted mail fraud to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service online at this link.
Got the same letter here in the Bay Area. Worthless low life people who send this stuff.
And....we're getting these in San Diego as well.
Received the same letter in Villa Park, CA on January 30. This was asking for $3,650 and mentioned my wife by name.
Identical scam letter received in Half Moon Bay, CA 1/5/18.
Received same letter in Clearwater FL area on 1/27/18. Mine is asking for $3,750. Crazy stuff...
Just received a hard copy letter today at my home in Rancho Santa Fe,
using the exact language.
I received an identical letter on January 5, 2018. The amount of payment requested was different ($3,550) and the bitcoin address was also different, but the letter seems identical other than that.
Got one today in Bressi Ranch in Carlsbad CA looking for $3600 and identifying my wife by name.
Just received the same letter in the mail today, in Oakland.
Wow...I received this letter at my San Diego home on 4/21/18. I must have bigger "secrets" because they need $8,600 to keep my "secrets"!
My husband received the same letter asking for $8,200.
Received the same letter in DFW, Texas on 1/28/2018. This letter is asking for $3,550 and lists my wife's name, my address, and states that they know what I have been up to and in an effort to keep it confidential and away from my wife, I must pay the "confidentiality fee' or they will tell my wife everything.
07/22/2018: My secrets must be huuuuge! They want $15,950 but at least they supplied a 19 step how-to-use-bitcoin tutorial. This was sent from Nashville Tn with an actual stamp. Any chance the sammer's DNA is on the back of the stamp?
Received at place of business email
They obviously got my information from some leaked website because the subject contained a generic password I only use for Forums and such. Definitely not my highly cryptic, tough to crack password for bank sites and such.
Here is the full contents of the message.
I'm going to cut to the chase. I'm aware ro****13 is your pass word. Most importantly, I know your secret and I have evidence of your secret. You do not know me personally and nobody paid me to check out you.
It's just your hard luck that I came across your misdemeanor. Actually, I actually placed a malware on the adult videos (sexually graphic) and you visited this website to experience fun (you know what I mean). When you were busy watching videos, your internet browser initiated functioning as a Rdp (Remote desktop) having a keylogger which provided me accessibility to your display as well as webcam. Right after that, my software gathered your entire contacts from your messenger, facebook, as well as email.
I then gave in much more time than I probably should've investigating into your life and generated a double screen video. First part shows the recording you had been viewing and 2nd part shows the recording from your webcam (its you doing nasty things).
Honestly, I am ready to forget exactly about you and let you get on with your regular life. And my goal is to provide you 2 options that can make it happen. These two choices with the idea to ignore this letter, or simply just pay me $2900. Let’s explore those 2 options in more details.
First Option is to ignore this e-mail. You should know what is going to happen if you pick this option. I will, no doubt send out your video to your entire contacts including close relatives, colleagues, and so on. It does not help you avoid the humiliation you and your family will feel when friends discover your sordid videos from me.
Second Option is to send me $2900. We’ll call it my “confidentiality fee”. I will explain what will happen if you choose this choice. Your secret remains your secret. I will destroy the recording immediately. You go on with your routine life like nothing ever happened.
At this point you must be thinking, “I will go to the cops”. Without a doubt, I have taken steps to ensure that this e mail cannot be linked returning to me and it won't steer clear of the evidence from destroying your health. I'm not looking to dig a hole in your pocket. I am just looking to be compensated for my time I placed into investigating you. Let's assume you decide to create all of this disappear completely and pay me the confidentiality fee. You will make the payment through Bitcoin (if you don't know how, search "how to buy bitcoins" in google search)
Transfer Amount: $2900
Send To This Bitcoin Address: 1GfEVySi8L4*zeeK1RVSCjwFoBLinFkpcJh ( You must Edit * from it then copy and paste it)
Tell no person what you would be transferring the bitcoin for or they will often not give it to you. The process to have bitcoins usually takes a short time so do not delay.
I have a specific pixel within this e-mail, and now I know that you have read through this e-mail. You have two days to make the payment. If I don't receive the BitCoins, I will certainly send out your video recording to all of your contacts including friends and family, colleagues, and so forth. You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. Nonetheless, if I receive the payment, I will erase the video and all other proofs immediately. It is a non negotiable one time offer, so do not ruin my personal time & yours. Your time is running out. Let me remind you, my software will be recording the actions you're taking when you find yourself done reading this letter. Honestly, Should you choose something suspicious I'll share your videotape to your family members, colleagues before your your deadline.