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FTC: How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam

blackmail, Bitcoin, scam, fraud, FTCWhen I received the August 21 Consumer Alert from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via email, I was amazed to find out that the FTC was forwarding instructions on, “How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam.”

Had the FTC had found a way to make us always behave in an appropriate manner? Or maybe they knew a fail-proof way to avoid getting caught?

No, instead, they wanted you to know what to do if you are approached by a Bitcoin blackmail scammer. The Consumer Alert begins:

“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.”

For more information on how to identify and report a scam, check out our blog

Per the FTC, scammers have been sending such letters to men, demanding payment in Bitcoin in exchange for keeping quiet about “alleged affairs.” The letters even include instructions on how to make the payments. Wow, these scammers are really helpful.

If you are one of these unlucky persons, the FTC wants you to know the following:

  • It’s criminal to extort money from people.
  • If you, or someone you know, gets a letter like this, report it immediately to the police and FBI.

The FTC didn’t say how many men across America were receiving these “threats of exposure” but you can read the details for yourself at the FTC website.

Melinda Nelson, CPA