Bitcoin scammers target men with guilty secrets

August 23, 2018
Chris Wheal

Watch out if you’re a male crypto investor who is straying from the marital nest – there’s a new type of scam afoot.

Watch out for the new bitcoin scam if you’re a man with a guilty conscience

The latest warning comes from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about scammers who are sending letters and emails to men threatening to expose a “secret” and asking for “confidentiality fee” paid in bitcoin to maintain their silence.

The letters are merely speculative – mass mailshots – hoping that a small percentage of those sent will hit a target with a guilty conscience, says Cristina Miranda at the FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education.

The letter

The letter reads: “I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. You can ignore this letter, or pay me a $8,600 confidentiality fee in Bitcoin.”

Almost enough to send shivers down the spine of the totally innocent.

Miranda warns: “This is a criminal extortion attempt to separate people from their money. Threats, intimidation and high-pressure tactics are classic signs of a scam.”

The FTC says that if you or anyone you know gets such a letter, report it immediately to your local police.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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