Unfortunately, a new wave of bitcoin-related scam emails has recently surfaced.
Many of these are presented as a kind of “alert” for earnings or income derived from hypothetical investments in BTC.
The perpetrators send out these messages containing completely made-up, and therefore fake, information, trying to make their potential victims believe that they can collect significant amounts of money by following a certain procedure.
The procedure actually exists, but only allows money to be sent to the perpetrators. Whereas the earnings or proceeds obviously do not exist.
In fact, the fraudsters invite those who reply to these emails to send them money in order to “unlock” the funds, with the trick of asking for payment of an amount much lower than what they promise to collect. In this way, if the victims believe these lies, they become so attracted by the promises that they unfortunately have no hesitation about “donating” their money to the fraudsters.
Another similar scam is the one which, instead of asking for money directly, asks potential victims for sensitive data, such as access data to wallets or exchanges, but this is less common.
A different kind of scam, at least in its appearance, is the one that threatens the potential victims with the publication of compromising material about them, such as videos or photos of them in risqué poses.
However, on closer inspection, it is always the same pattern, only with a different narrative.
The scheme of Bitcoin-related email scams
The scheme is always the same: convincing the victims to send money to the fraudster by telling lies that convince them to do so. The type of lies told may change, but in the end the mechanism is always the same.
Sometimes this mechanism is based on the desire for easy money, sometimes on the fear of being slandered, but even if the emotions involved change, the practice remains the same.
In any case, it is always a matter of lies, totally invented and without any real evidence, which are only sometimes spiced up with details that aim to make them more credible. If the potential victims do not realise that there is no truth in what the fraudster is telling them, it is relatively easy for them to fall for the deception.
Furthermore, the amount of money asked for is often very small and within the reach of almost everyone, so unless it becomes clear that it is all lies, the victims may be tempted to pay.
In order to be protected against such attempts, it is sufficient to check whether what is being told is true or not.