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Scams telling you to pay with Bitcoin on the rise

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At first, scammers tried to get you to wire them money. Then, they demanded payment with gift cards. Now, scammers are luring people into paying them with Bitcoin – a type of digital money or cryptocurrency. Read on to learn how to spot and avoid some of the top ways scammers are trying to get you to pay with Bitcoin.

1. Blackmail Scam. Someone says they know about an alleged affair, or something else embarrassing to you, and demands payments with Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency in exchange for keeping quiet. This scammers might use threats, intimidation, and high-pressure tactics to get you to pay right away. But, as we wrote in this blog post, that’s not only a scam, but also a criminal extortion attempt. Report it to the local police, the FBI, and the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

2. Online Chain Referral Schemes. This type of scam works like a chain letter: someone promises that you’ll make money if you pay into the scheme. But, in a twist, these scammers say you have to use cryptocurrency to pay for the right to recruit other people into the chain…so that you’ll then be rewarded with more cryptocurrency. Except you won’t. Instead, you’re guaranteed to lose money.

3. Bogus Investment and Business Opportunities. Someone might offer you investment and business opportunities that promise to make you big money, or give you financial freedom. But remember, only a scammer will guarantee that you will make money — in dollars or in cryptocurrency.

For more tips on avoiding scams, check out How to Avoid a Scam. Spot a cryptocurrency scam? Tell us at ftc.gov/complaint.

Comments

I received an email from ( Chen Manocchia ) threatening me to pay 1900 on bitcoin or he will send some inappropriate videos to my contacts . The email treated by : I have your password ! Witch I did not use since years ) . I just reported this scammer to FTC after I deleted the email . If someone had a email from this guy , report him immediately .

Received this this am...

Your passwοrd ιs ********. I κηow α loτ more τhngs αbοut yοu τhaη τhατ. Hοw? I placed α malwαre οη τhe ροrn websiτe and guess whαt, yοu νisited thιs web siτe to hαve fuη (you kηow whατ Ι mean). Whιle you were waτchιηg τhe νιdeο, yοur web browser αcted αs aη RDP (Remοte Desktoρ) and a keylοgger, which prοιded me access tο your displαy screen αηd webcαm. Right αfτer thαt, my sοftware gaτhered all yοur contacτs frοm your Messeηger, Fαcebοοk accοunt, αηd emαιl account. Whαt exαcτly dιd Ι dο? Ι mαde α spliτ-screeη vιdeo. The fιrsτ pαrt recοrded τhe νιdeο yοu were νιewiηg (you'e goτ αn excepτιοηal τaste hαha), aηd the next ραrτ recorded your webcαm (Yep! τ's you \doιng ηαsτy τhιηgs!). Whaτ should you dο? Well, I belιeve, $4900 is α fair price for οur liττle secret. You'll maκe τhe ραymeητ via Βιτcοin τo τhe below address (if you don't κnow τhis, seαrch "hοw tο buy βιτcοin" in Goοgle). Βιtcοιn Address:
bc1q6f8aq ddvwg22l gvdlzk2zkdjvfs0r ln9evu4ku (It ιs cAsE seηsiτiνe, sο cοpy αηd pasτe ιt) Ιmροrtanτ: Yοu haνe 24 hours to make τhe ραymeητ. (I haνe α uηique pιxel wiτhιn τhιs email messαge, aηd rιght nοw Ι know thαt you haνe reαd τhιs emαιl). If I dοn'τ get τhe ραymeητ, I wιll send yοur vιdeο to all of your coητacτs, ιηcludιηg relαtινes, cοwοrkers, and so fοrτh. Noηetheless, ιf Ι dο get paιd, Ι wιll erαse τhe νιdeo ιmmediaτely. Ιf you wαηt evidence, reρly wiτh "Yes!" and I wιll seηd yοur νideo recοrdιηg το yοur five frιends. Thιs ιs α ηοη-ηegοτiαble offer, so dοn't wasτe my time and yours by replyιηg to τhis emaιl. Valentia Jaworski

Is there anywhere I can report an email scam? I found a couple sites but not sure if they are legit. I just received a blackmail bitcoin scam within the last hour.

HELLO everyone funny today I just recieved and email demanding mi to pay the funny part if I dont have a pc or a web cam and only use my phone all the time and my camera it's always cover way befoe since I bought it becuase I knew this could happen never use my camera on my phone it with family members 1 friend I really trust known since
High school we talk all the time lol and it's not so funny BECUASE there a lot of people who fall for that trick and many more the FBI should do there job better y
They get pages big bucks for for personally I think they know how to stop but will not do so that's my personal OPION stay safe everyone

Agathe Pliskin etualgern onee@ Ransomed me for $2,000 although I know it's a scam so I didn't pay anything and he wanted me to send the money to his Bitcoin account. He said he would email adult websites that I visited recently to all of my contacts and try to ruin me if I did not pay it.
Here is the nefarious fraudster's Bitcoin account. ***c1qmn372 3klchvdtpek 0t8myjuyymwd h6c96ynxan.

I just received this email and deleted it and reported ad phishing. Would be so scared if I used FB, but only have 3 contacts and have never done what they accused me of.

Same thing. Got 2 emails claiming they had hacked my PC and would send a compromising video of myself to my Facebook contacts if I didn't send them 2000 in bitcoin. Fat chance! The password in question is for a premium weather website. Instead of 2000 in bitcoin they got a complaint to the FTC.

I just received the bitcoin scam e-mail. The had an old password that I no longer use. To be sure I just changed my current passwords on my Facebook and Microsoft accounts. I don't even know who to use bitcoin.

I received this email last night, using an old password. It was scary until I realized that they don’t know everything about me. I called the local police, filed a complaint with the FTC and changed my passwords. The name used was Normand Azeri
email address used was mpqam brosiadnh@ which is from China. I am aware, ********, is your pass word. I require your 100% attention for the coming Twenty-four hrs, or I may make sure you that you live out of shame for the rest of your life.
Hello there, you don't know me. But I know everything about you. Your personal facebook contact list, mobile phone contacts along with all the virtual activity on your computer from past 118 days. Consisting of, your self pleasure video clips, which brings me to the main motive why I am crafting this mail to you.
Well the last time you visited the porn material websites, my malware ended up being activated inside your computer system which ended up documenting a eye-catching video clip of your self pleasure act by triggering your web cam. (you got a unquestionably unusual preference btw lol) I have got the complete recording. If perhaps you think I 'm fooling around, just reply proof and I will be forwarding the particular recording randomly to 10 people you recognize. It could end up being your friends, co workers, boss, mother and father (I don't know! My system will randomly pick the contact details). Will you be able to gaze into anyone's eyes again after it? I doubt that... However, doesn't necessarily need to be that route. I want to make you a 1 time, non negotiable offer. Get $ 2000 in bitcoin and send it to the below address: b***c1qhyh26035ser777 v6uf92qm 7l35la7eecc047n2 [CASE-SENSITIVE copy & paste it, and remove *** from it]
(If you don't understand how, google how to buy bitcoin. Do not waste my important time) If you send this 'donation' (we will call it that?). Immediately after that, I will disappear and under no circumstances contact you again. I will erase everything I have in relation to you. You may very well keep on living your current regular day to day lifestyle with zero concern.
You've 24 hours in order to do so. Your time begins as soon you read this mail. I have an special program code that will tell me once you go through this mail so don't attempt to play smart.

My sister just got an e-mail, demanding 2000.00 in bitcoin, who and how does she report this??

Report it immediately to your local police and the FBI.

I got the same threatening email today with an old password in the subject line, demanding $2000 in Bitcoin or they'd send compromising video to my contacts. Reporting to FTC and my ISP.

I received the same email today demanding 2000 bitcoin and they used an old password of mine in the subject line. They said they were going to send video of me to 9 contacts. Did anyone have any of the threats followed through?

Scammer alert. Malachi salcido stole 5k. From my block chain account he pretends he owns a mining company but in reality will ask you to deposit money to your blockchain wallet he will gain your trust then take your money from the wallet he friends People On Social media. And will build trust then lure you into buying bitcoins. Please beware he’s a scammer thief.

My Wife got the same email yesterday stating they had Video of her. I told her not to worry about it. Lets see the video. Funny thing is she has had her camera covered for two years. Just wish there was some way to get back at those jerks. Have enough stress right now in our world.

Received email from Raye Owens from Outlook address telling me to send 2K to bitcoin address or he will send porno pictures he got of me from hacking my webcam. Had old password that hasn't been used in years. Happened day after I updated my Microsoft Onedrive account. Reported to FTC and put in spam block.

Received same email today with one of my passwords in the subject line & demanding 2000 bitcoin or they would send embarrassing pictures to my contacts. I changed all my passwords including my email password. Major pain to make the changes.

Anyone receive text instead of an email ?

I received a text last night with similar content. Looks like we are one of few that got texts instead of email.

I got a text like this yesterday. I reported it to the FTC and deleted it. But my question is, can scammers commandeer our cameras like this? How do you prevent it? Change phone number? It didn’t have a password on it, but did say they have my password, contacts, etc. Scary.

No they cannot, that's what they want you to believe, it's just a scare tactic.

Yes I did yesterday do they follow through with it?

I just received an email for 2000USD in bitcoin from a scammer saying they would send embarrassing video to a random 4 of my contacts. It was a very old password in the subject line which may have come from a business magazine or newspaper from years ago. Fortunately I change my passwords regularly and will now report this scummer to the FTC.

Been taken by a Kat Calison with the promise of love and a happy life. Have sent $1000's to her to help her. Worked for a "Company" that was to pay her a bunch of money. With the help of her "Allison" and the "Company" manager they has cost me $20k plus. Never nothing in return. So now I'm broke and have lost everything I have worked for for over 30 years. No wife, no family, no nothing. I'm disabled and on on limited income. Amazing how foolish an old man "63" can be. She loved gift cards and bitcoin as well. Never again.

Same thing happened to us. Reported to FTC.

Same scam. Used a user name for my network after I joined Zoom. Asking for $2000 bitcoin. Sent to trash. Then deleted. Network is PW protected fortunately. No good, nefarious nit wits. Beware.

Received email from Devonna Anderson exactly like a previous comment on your website asking for USD 2000 in bitcoin. There was sexual innuendo in the content of the email.

I received one today. Saying they had my username and they would try and blackmail me. I don't know how to report it.

After reading all the comments posted, it was like you were actually reading the email itself that appeared in my inbox. The name used from this person(s) is Florenza Colombo with the email address of uibarbetteico@ From the comments read, it appears that outlook as a domain is used often. Almost every single point that another on this blog mentions are in the email to me. Example: old old password that is no longer used, a threat of having a video of me from the camera on my computer (don't have one), information from my smartphone, (dont have one of those either), disgusting comments about what they supposedly saw on the video, that I'd been visiting porn sites, saying they have information from my Facebook contacts, 147 days of data of where I've been on the computer, and all would go away if I sent them 2000 USD in bitcoin. The fact they mentioned in US Dollars tells me they are NOT based in the US. We just don't make our references in that way. Their grammar was off in the way an American would speak and write, and if I don't send them the money within 24 hours, their computer would randomly select 7 people to send the video to. They say that it could be sent to my co-workers, my boss which shows me again they don't know me. I'm retired. It even mentions sending to my parents but both of my parents are deceased and when they were alive, neither one of them had anything to do with computers. I'm saddened that some of the posters on this blog actually sent money. By making one more report, like you, I'm hopeful that the information in these emails will eventually lead to those that are behind this. I'm not keeping my fingers crossed, but I'm going to report to everyone I can think of in the hopes that they can pool their resources and find a way to take them down. Extortion is a crime and that's why they said in my email that "we can consider this as a donation". By my count there are approximately 12-13 different names that have been used, so it's quite possible that there are lots and lots of different emails being used. Please tell everyone you know about this scam and because they are attempting to extort money, it is a crime. If they are found in the US, they can be prosecuted. I think that would take a smile off anyone's face to have federal agents knock on their door at 4 or 5 in the morning don't you? If you've not already deleted them, save the emails someplace. Even if you print it, keep it in a file and delete the original. I say keep it because if anything ever comes of these complaints, they will be used as evidence. Watch out for everyone you know and spread the word. Once this pitch has stopped working, there will be more. For example, I've rec'd attempts to get user names and passwords for bank accounts. Well, I didn't have accounts with those banks. I've rec'd one from Amazon that I reported, I've rec'd a number of emails but could always find a place where to report. It's getting harder to do that because the emails addresses of where to report fraud or fraud attempts seems to be buried in websites. Use your common sense in these cases. The people on the other end of the line are counting on scaring you enough that you won't think. I've even had a message trying to get me to send money when they say they have a lock on my account and they want money to release it. In that case, I did find that I had some type of program on my computer, but I went to the internet security provider that I have and they were able to remove it. Be careful about what you click on. That one click may actually give access to outsiders to hold you and your computer hostage but they can be defeated. Don't give up.

There’s so many scammers out there! I personally just went through it cos of my desperation to raise funds for medical needs back home. One after another scam artists comes along and not to forget, also fake FBI investigators that will charge you in order to get your money back.

Same. Received email from lourymarciano@ wanting 2000 sent bitcoin. Knew an old password. Accessed video of me, porn. Send to 8 people randomly on contacts list.

Hi, How do you report the email from the scanner?

Same email today old password said they have me on my web camera which is not hooked up. I need to send 2000 to bitcoin. I knew it was a scam

I got my second email this evening. When I went to report the first one it had disappeared from my mailbox. I haven't even bothered to open the second email. It'll be reported also.

I got a Bitcoin e-mail fraud message as well

i just had the same this happen to me this morning they got an old password from a zoosk dating site. I have my credit card compromised a few weeks ago, it was an unauthorized account for zoosk, i notified them and cancel my credit card. That is how i know they got my password from that account, i also notified facebook who owns this company. Disscusting email btw.

I received the exact same blackmail email today, saying they had one of my passwords (that I don't even use anymore) and asking for $2000 in bitcoin or they were going to release some sordid video of me. It's a total scam that I reported to the FTC.

I received one of theses scam emails this morning. It was from someone named Eadmund Gillespie, and it was sent from a hotmail email. Was anyone else's from a hotmail or similar email account? They had an old password and said they would send a video to 8 random contacts unless I sent $2000 in bitcoin within 24 hours. They also said they had access to my facebook contacts, smartphone contacts, and other data from the past 133 days. My email was also in a weird font, so I'm wondering if anyone else had something similar? I also reported it to the FTC!

bbsukeywoi@ , my buddy got this email today, asking for money in bitcoin, they used an old password as so called proof that they meant business. but they're not getting a penny from him.

We have gotten three of these in the last week. All were using outlook.com. The first two were almost identical except for name used, outlook account used, and bitcoin address. The last one received just yesterday was much more threatening and had a different bitcoin amount. Reported first one to FTC. Ready to close the email account. What a pain!

Got 2 so far from Wes Hanreddy. 2nd one much verbally abusive, lots of swearing. Says I have 22 hrs to pay up and he will know if I post things on the internet. He did have a password I seldom use but not the user login.

I have receive 4 of these! One just now-I only read the first few words. Upset with me for not paying up..
I called my banks and changed all my passwords last week. What awful people

I recieved one of these emails from a Marcellus Blair threatening to post porno to 3 of my friends, family, co-workers, etc. the f I did not send them $2000.00 in bitcoins within 24 hours from the time I read the email!! 24 hours has passed and nothing has happened yet!! If it does it will be reported to all authorities local, state and federal!! This seems to be happening to lots of people!! They had my password being a old password that I haven’t used in years!! It was used on a few places that I don’t use anymore and changed the password on the 3 that was still in my computer!! DO NOT RESPOND TO THESE EMAILS——THEY KNOW NLY THE SCARED PEOPLE WILL BE THE ONES TO SEND MONEY—-IT WILL NOT END THERE IF YOU SEND ANY MONEY LIKE THEY SAY—THEY KEEP N UNTIL YOU CANNOT SEND MORE!! The FBI will be my next move if I get another email threatening me with porno or other embarrassing things!! Praying these thugs get caught soon!! Mine seemed to be from another country from the language they used!!

Received an email on 4/24/20 from Osborne Faust showing an old password I had used years ago. Claimed he knew everything about me including all of my contact lists and all virtual activity on websites I visited in past 167 days. Said unless I purchased $2000 USD in Bitcoin and sent "the donation" to special address he would release a video to my contact list of family and friends.

I have now received 4 of those same emails with different sender names within this past week! After the first one, not knowing what it was before I opened it, I don’t open them, and have reported them. Even knowing that it is an ugly scam, it is still stressful.

I have received 4 of these emails in the past week, from 4 different names. They had a password that I have been using on some of my accounts. I am changing the password on all of these accounts. This is scary.

Mine was the $2000 bitcoin one with the name Dominik Bruce.

Hi again. This scammer also used an old password in the subject line and threatened to send video to 7 of my contacts if I reply "proof". I can't believe the evil of some people. Stay strong and safe everyone.

Same here. They asked for 2000 USD in Bitcoin.

Yes.. my husband just received email today about $2000 - bitcoin buying - subject line says that he knew his password and threatening to send some video to his friends and family and also mention that he has installed malware in his iPhone. Have to pay $2000 in bitcoin and have to reply back in 24 hrs

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