Scammers are targeting men by distributing letters demanding payment.
Scammers are demanding payment from men in exchange for keeping quiet about alleged affairs or lewd acts.
Jenn Love, with the Better Business Bureau, says, “Scammers are sending letters to men saying that they have alleged affairs or they caught them in lewd acts and if they don’t pay a confidentiality fee via Bitcoin, they’re going to expose all this information.”
Bitcoin is a form of electronic cash. Criminals want to be paid with it, because it is very difficult to trace.
“Bitcoins a cryptocurrency that’s completely untraceable. If you pay a scammer using Bitcoins, you’re not going to get your money back and we can’t figure out who the scammer is,” explains Love.
Men are being taken advantage of by being scammed out of thousands of dollars and chances are they won’t get their money back.
“They claim that they owe money as a confidentiality fee,” Love adds. “It’s up to $8600.”
If men don’t pay the confidentiality fee via Bitcoin, scammers say they will expose their information.
“We always say don’t send pictures even if you know who you think you know you’re sending it to. We you just encourage people to really not send any kind of information especially pictures over. Turn off any electronical devices even if you’re not using them and cover up your webcam just for peace of mind,” says Love.
Threats, high-pressure and scare tactics like these are common signs of a scam.
Love says, “It could not be true. Scammers will say anything. They’ll make up lies.”
Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau to protect yourself:
Do a security check on your computer or if you haven’t done so already, install security software.
Enable two-factor authentication on your important accounts.
Change passwords often and consider getting a password manager to ensure your passwords are strong.
If you are a victim of this scam, report it to the Better Business Bureau where they will send a report to the FBI.