Email scams are getting a high-tech makeover with bitcoin scams, and you might recognize something familiar behind the update.
The Saudi prince who used to ask unwitting recipients to send him large amounts of cold hard cash has been replaced by a Russian man who prefers Bitcoin as his form of payment. And, if you don’t give him exactly what he wants, be prepared to suffer the consequences.
Here’s a little bit from a recent email that made its way to my work email address. Much like a persistent public relations person who is “just making sure” I got their first pitch on a product or project that has nothing to do with the beat I cover, this was the second email asking me to send Bitcoin.
“I think you will not be happy, because I have a very bad news for you,” wrote my new Russian connection. “Just a few months ago, I hacked your operating system and I have full control of your device.
“I implanted a small application into your device which sends me your current IP address and allows me to connect to your device just like remote desktop. Even if you change your password, it won’t help,” he wrote.
Uh-oh, this sounds serious.
Little does this guy know I prefer using cash to a debit card whenever I can so I’m not exactly the type to be dealing in digital currency. Heck, I still like getting ticket stubs when I go to games, concerts, movies and other events.
“The router that you used to connect to Internet had a security hole,” my eager new friend wrote. Hmm, it sounds like I better let the folks at Emerald Expositions know that the security system that won’t allow me to download a new program without assistance has a security hole.
“I hacked your router and I put my code into it, and when you tried to connect to Internet, my program infected your device. Later I made a full copy of your hard drive (I have all your email contact lists, list of websites you visited, phone numbers, your passwords etc.),” he wrote.
How Much Bitcoin to Clear My Name?
Man, this guy is crafty! But, wait! There’s more!
“When I was searching your web browsing history I was shocked by what I saw!! The sites for adults you are visiting… you know what I mean…I just want to say – your fantasies are shifted far away from the normal course,” he wrote. I’m in trouble now! How do I possibly clear my name?
“I ask you to send me a donation through Bitcoin network,” he wrote. How much would it take? “3000 U.S. dollars is a fair price (considering your perversions)…I give you 72 hours only.”
But, wait! I’m a technological rube. How do I send Bitcoin, kind sir?
Here are the easy instructions my friend says will clear my name in no time flat:
- Step 1: Create an account on www.localbitcoins.com
- Step 2: Buy 0.291578 BITCOIN
- Step 3: Send the amount on this BTC address: 1666TSnNDrjjr9rwNptufX5gSMJxyr2tLG
- Step 4: Contact me on this email address firstname.lastname@example.org copy to email@example.com with this subject: 012VIPERMARVO-RESTOREKEYPC4102934
Well, that seems simple enough. Why am I wasting time writing this blog when I could be clearing my name? After all, my new email pal tells me, “time is ticking.”
Wish me luck. Now, if only I can figure out where to find my nearest Bitcoin branch office…