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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


Identical scam letter received in Half Moon Bay, CA 1/5/18.

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.

And....we're getting these in San Diego as well.

Just received a hard copy letter today at my home in Rancho Santa Fe,
using the exact language.

Just received the same letter in the mail today, in Oakland.

Received same letter in Clearwater FL area on 1/27/18. Mine is asking for $3,750. Crazy stuff...

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.

Got the same letter here in the Bay Area. Worthless low life people who send this stuff.

Got one today in Bressi Ranch in Carlsbad CA looking for $3600 and identifying my wife by name.

Received the same letter in Villa Park, CA on January 30. This was asking for $3,650 and mentioned my wife by name.

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