While Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are very much at the cutting edge of technology, a recent scam has come to light which hopes to utilise the altcoin industry in one of the oldest cons in the book.
An email scam is being distributed to men around the United States, many of whom reside in affluent neighbourhoods. It is not known by which method the scammers have acquired their personal details, or even if these are the only men who are coming forward to dispute the emails.
“I know you cheated on your wife,” is the opening line of the malicious missive, which goes on to claim that the anonymous emailer has evidence supporting their claim, which they will release to the victim’s spouse, family, and work colleagues unless they cooperate. The nature of that cooperation? $2,000, payable exclusively in Bitcoin.
It should go without saying that this scam is nothing more than that. By sending out thousands of anonymous emails, the perpetrators hope to strike lucky and find a guy with a guilty conscience, disposable Bitcoin funds, and no understanding of how scams like these are perpetrated.
Given the high-tech nature of digital currency, you’d think anyone with an interest in the sector would have the technical wherewithal to spot this scam for what it is and, who knows, six to 12 months ago that might have been the case. With Bitcoin and its competitors essentially going viral on the markets in recent months, it is no longer tech-savvy investors who are getting in on the action.
The blackmailer is relying on the anonymity afforded to Bitcoin to make off with whatever proceeds he or she manages to scam off gullible recipients of this email, forgetting that their initial point of contact – the email itself – is still entirely traceable. Should you receive such an email yourself, you should not be concerned that the blackmailer has any idea who you are – until you get in touch with them, you are just one email address in a list of thousands.
Instead, forward it to your local law enforcement authority and have them add it to their list of evidence for when they finally get the blackmailers into a courtroom.