As I frequently write, scammers are becoming more sophisticated each day.
A resident called to advise me of the latest scam, somewhat obvious from the contents of the letter received, but with the many scandals being reported on in various media, a possible reality, depending upon the recipient, but certainly not this resident.
The letter only provided a possible email identity and no return address, and advised of some undisclosed “secret” that was being kept from disclosure to the recipient’s spouse, ostensibly identified from an observation of the resident in Town (Livingston was mentioned).
The scammer than provided two options: One to ignore the letter in which case the scammer will contact the spouse and provide the sordid details of the “secret”, which will cause humiliation, or Option Two, pay a “confidentiality fee” using Bitcoins, to insure silence and nondisclosure. Of course, payment had to be made promptly.
The scammer indicates that contacting the authorities cannot be done as the letter and sender cannot be traced.
The letter ends with exacting instructions on how to submit a Bitcoin payment (19 separate steps).
Just another scam, but containing threats and a new method of non-traceable payment that cannot be recovered if and when the scam is unearthed.
Thus, scammers are getting more brazen (threatening causing a scandal) and the method of payment is most modern (using Bitcoins).
Be cautious, be alert, be aware, and do not be intimidated into becoming another victim!
Walter D. LeVine
Director, Livingston Consumer Affairs Office