Eye on Scams: Bitcoin Blackmail Scam

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Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana and the FTC warn consumers about a scam targeting men. Scammers have been distributing letters.  
An example of a letter stated:
“I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. You can ignore this letter, or pay me a $8600 confidentiality fee in Bitcoin”.  
          Pretty chilling words to say the least.  This scam and other variations of it demand payment in exchange for keeping quiet about alleged affairs or lewd acts.  Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash.  Criminals want to be paid in this format because it is very difficult to trace.  Threats, high-pressure and scare tactics like these are common signs of a scam. 
BBB shares these tips on how to protect yourself:
•    Never send money!
•    Don’t respond to threats.
•    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 posted, ask websites to remove photos/videos.
•    Never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they are—or who they say they are. 
•    Do not open attachments from people you do not know.
•    Turn off your electronic devices when you are not using them. 
•    Keep webcams covered when you’re not using them to ensure your peace of mind.
More information:
If you are a victim of a scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. If the scammer contacted you electronically (via email, website, or social media), report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crimes Complaint Center.
“Look for the Seal” and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana is a private non-profit organization. BBB strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
            Please contact Better Business Bureau at bbb.org 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America. Consumers can also sign up for our free BBB “Scoop” eNewsletter by visiting bbb.org and clicking on the “Programs & Services” tab.
           BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.
 

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