Police alert: Bitcoin Blackmail scam

by beth on October 30, 2017

Post image for Police alert: Bitcoin Blackmail scam

Southborough Police and a targeted family are alerting the public about a blackmail scam. A Southborough resident brought an extortion letter to police that he received in the mail. The sender attempted to extort a $2,000 bitcoin payment.

The blackmailer targeted a married man, claiming to have unspecified evidence of his “misbehavior” and threatening to humiliate his wife if payment wasn’t made. Southborough Police shared some information in a Facebook warning.

On Facebook, the SPD shared:

There are obvious signs (within the letter) that show the wording had been copied & pasted, in order to change out the name and address of the victim.

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THIS IS A SCAM. IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED ONE OF THESE LETTERS IN THE MAIL: DO NOT SEND MONEY. PLEASE SHARE THIS WARNING WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

The targeted man’s wife also posted images of the letter on a Facebook group yesterday to warn others about the scam. She wrote that they found a similar letter online.

The letter states:

I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife. More importantly, I have evidence of what you have been hiding. I won’t go into the specifics here in case your wife intercepts this, but you know what I am talking about. . .

It is just your bad luck that I stumbled across your misadventures while working a job around Southborough. I then put in more time than I probably should have looking into your life. . .

even if you decide to come clean with your wife, it won’t protect her from the humiliation she will feel when her friends and family find out your sordid details from me.

You can see the redacted letters below, by clicking thumbnails.* (For best results, wait until the page fully loads.)

Blackmail Scam letter page 1 (copied and redacted from Facebook) Blackmail Scam letter page 2 (copied and redacted from Facebook)

*(The resident redacted the address. For sharing on the blog, I also redacted the name of the man harrassed.)

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Southboro92 October 30, 2017 at 1:30 PM

We got one of these too. Planned on bringing it to the police station – but I see others had the same idea. Thanks for the posting.

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2 Dean Dairy October 30, 2017 at 2:34 PM

“We gotta do something… You know what we gotta do?… Toga party.”

https://getyarn.io/yarn-story/3c7d6b4d-ca5c-4379-ac60-e867c870fa47

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3 Louise Barron November 3, 2017 at 10:27 AM

Great! Loved that movie

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4 Rpalmer October 31, 2017 at 5:42 AM

I received one of these today. I live in Los Angeles. The letter was postmarked from Nashville, Tennessee.

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5 Mike May 11, 2018 at 8:08 PM

I received one of these today also postmarked Memphis, TN The Fed’s and Secret Service needs to round up all these Russians and Facilitators in USA to put some bite into some Law and Order. They must be on crack if they think I am going to fork over 1 penny. This is pure blackmail lottery where they hope to get lucky with someone and through fear of the unknown they pay. BS if you pay anything you will be hounded to death for more. Best advice report the blackmail to FBI maybe they will pin it on Trump of one of his attorney’s. Down with scams cryptocurrency and Russians !

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6 Carl November 1, 2017 at 6:32 PM

Just received mine today as well. Live just outside of Chicago. Postmarked from Nashville also.

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7 Madta November 2, 2017 at 10:50 AM

Showed up on October 27th at our home in New Hampshire. I could tell it was a scam right away. Also postmarked from Nashville TN.

Police might want to investigate a handful of folks that recently joined this group in Nashville.
https://www.meetup.com/Nashville-Bitcoin-Meetup/

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8 Rpalmer November 2, 2017 at 12:20 PM

Judging from the writing style, I think they should investigate this guy: https://giphy.com/gifs/danny-mcbride-kenny-powers-fLZuZ9pXGkkX6

If it doesn’t turn out to be Kenny Powers than I’m pretty sure it’s a kid. Aside from overly muscular use of cliches, there’s no mention of informing co-workers or associates, only friends and family.

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9 Fleming November 2, 2017 at 2:53 PM

I received this exact same letter too on Oct 27th. Also postmarked from Nashville. It’s hard to follow the logic of “I won’t go into specifics in case your wife intercepts this…” As if the wife won’t be concerned because there’s no mention of specifics… huh??

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10 beth November 2, 2017 at 3:26 PM

There’s no need for specifics. YOU know what you did. (Obviously, I hope, just kidding.)

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11 Dave Eargle November 2, 2017 at 4:09 PM

I posted about a similar letter about a year ago. I’ve had over two dozen people contact me in the past week saying they got the same letter as this. All postmarked Nashville, Tennessee 370, all sent on Oct 24th. Victims are all over the US. See my blog post here for an analysis: https://daveeargle.com/2016/10/24/I-received-a-blackmail-letter/

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12 Tina November 3, 2017 at 7:23 PM

I received the same letter. I live in Vermont. Letter was postmarked Nashville.

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13 D November 20, 2017 at 10:31 PM

Received one in Oklahoma today 11/20. Postmarked Nashville, TN 370… to
Stamp used. Bitcoin address:1HwxtTZZ6zQbXPolLTGNtJjN1dMVusWnRvW.

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14 Mike November 21, 2017 at 3:44 PM

I received one 11/20 in Little Rock. Postmarked Nashville.

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15 KH January 9, 2018 at 9:43 AM

Got one. Evansville Indiana post mark jan 2018

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16 KH January 9, 2018 at 9:45 AM

3500 bitcoin

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17 Grace January 13, 2018 at 2:06 PM

I’d like to know if all of us have anything in common and why we were the one to receive the letters. I am an investor in BitCoin, and thought these brokers weren’t able to be hacked, is this a common link we share??

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18 Rpalmer January 15, 2018 at 3:04 PM

I’m not a bitcoin investor. but you’re right, we’re probably on some list of some sort that got hacked into and stolen.

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19 BY January 26, 2018 at 5:00 PM

I got this same letter today. And I don’t have a bitcoin account either.

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20 D January 15, 2018 at 3:27 PM

Not a bitcoin investor. It could be related to the Experian hack, a common restaurant, who knows.

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21 Dave Eargle January 15, 2018 at 4:38 PM

There’s no personal information in the letters that couldn’t be obtained through using the same lists that junk mailers use. I think more recent targets could be based on income (of zip code) and/or profession. Companies like Equifax sell this data about us all the time. Look up “data brokers”.

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22 Grace January 15, 2018 at 6:34 PM

Yes I’ve been using Equifax for years, they’re 2 types of people:
* those who have been hacked
* those who don’t realize they’ve been hacked yet!!

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23 Anonymous January 26, 2018 at 2:20 AM

I wonder if this is related to the guy running 5smining that was trying to be elected, ironically as state representative of Tennessee. 5smining was a bitcoin cloud mining service. He shut down the site and stole all the bitcoin.

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24 Bellevue, WA January 27, 2018 at 5:28 PM

I just got one: Bellevue, WA

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25 D January 29, 2018 at 3:55 PM

Did your (and Anonymous’) letter look identical to the ones we received out of Nashville, TN back on 11/20/2017?

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26 Dave Eargle January 29, 2018 at 4:44 PM

The recent letters are only slightly different, see my running analysis here: https://daveeargle.com/2016/10/24/I-received-a-blackmail-letter/

But it’s clearly based on the same template as the 11/20 Nashville wave

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27 Anonymous January 29, 2018 at 12:20 PM

We received a letter in Kirkland, WA on January 27th too.

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28 Anonymous February 15, 2018 at 5:43 PM

I received one in Fairfield, Connecticut today. It was postmarked 2/12/18 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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29 Tim February 17, 2018 at 2:24 PM

I got one today as well. Post marked February 12 from Greensborough N.C. Exact same language. Could it be from Equifax hack?

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30 Tim February 17, 2018 at 2:48 PM

Ahhhhh….I just cracked the case. Since no one has called my by my full given first name since 4th grade-the fraudster is Sister Margaret Anne!!!

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31 Beth April 7, 2018 at 12:43 PM

We received one today in Winnetka, IL (Suburb north of Chicago). Same exact language. Postmarked from Evansville on April 3rd.

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32 greg April 11, 2018 at 7:05 PM

I got the letter today. Interesting to note, I got mine at a second home I own in California. I live in Nevada. Not married and have no secrets worth $8,150.00. I was notified by Equifax that I got hacked and been vigilant about info. BTW, mine was sent from Evansville, IN. I wonder if the Nigerian Prices have emigrated to the US.

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33 Matt April 19, 2018 at 6:23 PM

Ok – just got mine – san jose,post mark Birmingham Al. 4-19-18. from BadStar 89 for $8,700. requesting bit coin. I will go with the equifax as the root. also put a block on account. This is a scam. why is this not a fed crime? or fed looking into this?

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34 Bitcoin miner April 20, 2018 at 10:30 PM

It is a federal crime, but feds have absolutely no way to track the bitcoin wallet suckers send money to. Unless someone is incredibly stupid in their mailing, nothing can stop it.

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35 Lynne April 30, 2018 at 3:44 PM

We got one last week, postmarked Nashville also. Almost the exact same wording as above!

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36 Jim May 13, 2018 at 8:01 PM

Received same postmarked May 8 in Memphis, TN

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37 Joseph May 21, 2018 at 11:58 AM

Received a letter today from Birmingham, AL 350; May 15, 2018; asking for $8,150.00

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