Physical Letter-Based Bitcoin Scam Shows Criminals Are Getting a Lot Bolder

Scams are nothing new in the world of cryptocurrency. Some of these ventures prove to be very professional and elaborate, whereas others are clearly low-effort projects. It seems a new scam is making the rounds which involves a physical letter that threatens to expose people’s bad behavior unless they cough up a lot of money in the form of Bitcoin. It even comes with its own guide on how to buy Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Scams Take Physical Form

We have seen dozens of Bitcoin-related scam attempts in the past few years. Some of these projects clearly display a degree of professionalism one would never hope to see, whereas others are so fake they can safely be ignored. In the case of this particular Bitcoin-related scam, things sort of fall in the middle.

This scam involves a physical letter which is sent to potential victims. In the letter, the scammer tries to persuade the recipient to fork over a hefty sum of money in the form of Bitcoin. While such demands are not uncommon, the way this particular scammer goes about things is unique.

That doesn’t necessarily mean this scam will be successful, but some people may feel threatened by the letter’s content. The scammer claims to have “evidence” of something which the recipient of the letter is hiding. Although nothing is detailed in the letter itself, the scammer makes it clear his or her victim knows what this is about.

The recipient of this letter is presented with two options. Either the recipient ignores the warning, or they pay $8,600 in Bitcoin. It is possible that the requested amount will differ from letter to letter, although it seems the scammers are trying to collect around one Bitcoin from each of their victims. Whether or not they will be successful remains to be determined.

What makes the letter even more intriguing is that it includes clear instructions on how to buy Bitcoin. It does not refer to popular exchanges, yet it recommends LocalBitcoins as a way to purchase Bitcoin and complete the transaction. The choice of LocalBitcoins is pretty interesting, although it also makes a lot of sense because of its global availability.

Whether or not we will see more of these letters show up also remains to be seen. It is unclear how the victims are targeted, although it seems the scammers are either active in one specific area, or have found a way to obtain a lot of people’s address information. Given the rise of social media and data breaches, a lot of this information becomes easier to come by.