Bleeping Computer Reports Bitcoin Extortionists Threaten To Hurt Victims Unless They Pay $4,000
Bitcoin Extortionists Are Threatening To Kill Victims Unless They Pay $4,000
We’re living in a new age of extortion. Today, criminals don’t have to kidnap a family member to extort money from you; instead, criminals are threatening to send a hitman to your address unless you cough up $4,000 in bitcoin.
This issue was first spotted by the team at Bleeping Computer, which posted several of the frightening emails in a blog post earlier today.
The emails appear to follow a similar message: the sender claims to be a hitman. You are required to send $4,000 to a random bitcoin address within 38 hours. If you do not send the funds within 38 hours, then the hitman will kill you.
The email also comes with an interesting twist: the sender claims to have been hired by someone you know. Instead of carrying out the hit for that client, the sender wants to make a deal: pay the hitman today to avoid getting killed. If you make the payment, then the hitman will also reveal the name of the person who wants to kill you. What a deal!
Don’t Fall For This Obvious Scam
The emails are poorly written and give little indication that there’s any sense of legitimacy behind the threat. The sender doesn’t even bother researching the recipient to find personal information – like an address or family member names – which would really scare the victim.
“I have got a site that includes all kinds of offerings which I give in dark net. Nearly anything from totally eliminating peoples small business to physical accidental injuries and many others, however practically nothing serious like eliminating. In more cases it is shit like declined relationship or rivalry where you work. Anyhow I've been got in touch this week by client to place an arrangement and the particular target is obviously you. In a instant and pain-free approach.”
The emails are sent from Justine Dibenedetto. DiBenedetto is a relatively common last name. There’s a Canadian hockey player named Justin DiBenedetto, although we can’t find any other information online. The name, obviously, is a pseudonym apparently chosen at random.
“However, if i don't receive the things i'm asking, my person will fulfill the request. Yet in case if i will make a deal, apart eliminating the order you're going to receive complete info concerning the customer that i have found. Soon after the purchase is complete, I often remove the hitman as well, therefore i do have a selection, to generate a grand and two hundred coming from you, quite simply with no effort, or to get 4k from the customer, yet to lose my executor.”
No Ransom Payments Have Been Sent To The Bitcoin Address
One of the cool things about bitcoin is that you can instantly see if scams like this are successful. Just check the blockchain address and see if payments have been made. Typically, the addresses receive a handful of payments from gullible individuals.
This ransom scare, however, has not generated any money thus far. The bitcoin address is totally empty.
Last week, law enforcement officials in the United States and Canada were hit with a wave of bomb threats. The mysterious informants claimed to have planted bombs at major buildings across North America. They were demanding $20,000 in bitcoin. If they failed to receive that amount, then the bombs would be detonated. Dozens of threats were made, but nobody sent any money, and no bombs were ultimately detonated.
Ultimately, between the bomb threats last week and the hitman threats this week, it appears times are changing for bitcoin scams. Previously, bitcoin extortionists would just claim to release nude photos or lock down your computer with ransomware. Now, they’re threatening physical harm. Expect more law enforcement to get involved as scammers take these extortion strategies to the next level.
Law enforcement, by the way, has successfully caught bitcoin scammers in the past using some novel strategies. They caught scam artist Joel Ortiz, for example, and Xzavyer Narvaez, both of whom were charged with using SIM swapping to steal millions of dollars of bitcoin. Let’s hope there’s a similar outcome waiting for the bitcoin hitman sending the emails above.