Married men have been receiving scam letters accusing them of cheating, threatening to expose their alleged affairs unless they send Bitcoin.
The letter said they had “evidence of the infidelity” and asked for thousands of dollars in the cryptocurrency.
“This is a quite prevalent scam we're seeing on a weekly basis,” said Brendan McHugh, a member of the District Attorney's computer crime taskforce.
It appears that certain locations are being targeted based on high incomes or notoriety, said Paul Stephens, a spokesperson with the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
Specific information about you may be used in the letter, said McHugh. It’s likely the scammers collected this information from a data breach.
Similar scams have happened in the past, said the San Diego District Attorney’s office. However, Bitcoin makes tracing the scammers difficult.
Some of the letters even had detailed instructions on how to send the scammers Bitcoin.
Josh Bernoff was one man who received a letter, but he said he had nothing to hide, refusing to send the money.
Anyone who believes they have received a Bitcoin blackmail letter should alert the United States Postal Inspection Service at (877) 876-2455 or file a complaint online.