Crypto blackmail is perhaps one of the most terrifying crypto scams. And it’s just what it sounds like, too. A scammer contacts you via email, phone, or message and claims they have information about you that you don’t want released. It could be they have a video of you stealing something; they have evidence you had an affair or anything that you wouldn’t want other people to know about you.
The catch is that you have to send them Bitcoin to convince them not to release this information. As in thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin. Of course, this is a scam, and you should never give in or send them anything.
Crypto blackmail is a threat followed by a demand for payment. Just like any type of blackmail, you have to pay, or they’ll do something that could damage your reputation. The main difference is that with crypto blackmail, they want you to pay in crypto.
Some examples of crypto blackmail include:
All of these threats are followed by a demand for payment in order to make the problem go away. However, in most cases, these scammers have no way to follow through with the threat, they just want you to think they will. They probably don’t even have what they say they have.
The reason many people fall for these scams is that statistically speaking, if a large number of messages go out claiming to know the victim had an affair, the chances are good that several of them actually have had an affair.
The most important thing you can do is ignore the message. Don’t respond, and certainly don’t try to negotiate or pay. Criminals are looking for low-hanging fruit. If you make it hard for them to scam you, they’ll move on to an easier target.
The main reason these scammers want payment in crypto is that you can’t undo the transaction. Wire transfers can be traced, making it easier for authorities to find the culprit. Credit card transactions can be disputed and reversed. However, tracking down the owner of a crypto wallet is difficult.
There are quite a few things you can do to protect yourself and stay safe using crypto. First and foremost, don’t ever send crypto to someone you don’t know or to a business that doesn’t seem legitimate. The problem is it can be hard to tell sometimes.
Here are some other tips:
It’s statistically unlikely that any scammer threatening any of these things will follow through. Don’t respond! However, do protect yourself from it ever happening to you by keeping your information protected.
Here at Bitcoin Depot, we care about your crypto security. It’s important that you can trust us, which is why we offer fast, simple, and secure transactions at all of our BTMs. Find the one nearest you and add some Bitcoin to your wallet today.