In the last few years, scam artists have tried almost every trick in the book to relieve people of their bitcoin. However, the most recent effort in the sophisticated department is rather lacking.
A Bleeping Computer report states that people receive emails apparently from the owner of a dark website that offers various illegal services. The e – mails state that somebody hired a hit man to kill the recipient.
Fortunately, the website owner is ready to call off the hired weapon–if the recipient pays first.
According to the report, the email was sent yesterday and contains this (or similar) subject line:
Pretty important material for you right here 17.12.2018 08:33:00.
The body of the message is written in sloppy English with poor spelling and grammar–hence the errors in the quotations provided in this article. The sender is the owner of a dark website. It goes on to list the types of services offered:
“I have a site that includes all kinds of offers I give in the dark net. From completely eliminating small business people to physical accidental injuries and many others.”
The sender then states that they have been contacted by someone who wants to hire a hit man to dispose of the receiver of the email.
This is to be done ” instantly, ” ” without pain. ” It appears, however, that the sender would rather pay without having to dirty his hands. They thus offer the recipient the opportunity to pay for the hit to be dismissed. In the Bleeping Computer report, the author seems to suggest that the requested price is 4,000 dollars. When you thoroughly read the email, it seems that this is the amount paid for the hit itself. Despite the poorly written email, the cancelation fee actually amounts to $ 1,200. Here’s the text itself:
“Soon after the purchase is complete, I often remove the hitman as well, so I have a choice to generate a grand and two hundred from you, simply without any effort, or to get 4k from the customer, but to lose my executor.”
The reason for this amount of time is not clarified. It could, however, be as simple as confusing the attacker between the most commonly used time frames of 36 to 48 hours.
Finally, there is a Bitcoin address to which payments should be sent:
” 1EzJ4iMPNzZVxgHzD1wz1rcbYiGxAM9RPZ “
A quick look at a blockchain explorer confirms that no one receiving one of these supposed threats has paid for the most imaginary hit to date. It also seems doubtful, judging by the lack of sophistication of the scam, that anyone would fall for it.
Staying safe from Bitcoin scams
As mentioned today there are loads of various Bitcoin scams. Some include ransomware, such as last year’s WannaCry attack, others target people with known connections to the Bitcoin community and raise money from them.
Although you cannot fully immune yourself from such criminal efforts, there are some simple precautions to take that drastically reduce the likelihood that you will become a victim yourself:
- Don’t keep any serious amount of Bitcoin in a hot storage solution (desktop, mobile or online wallet). Always use proper cold storage for most of your holdings (paper wallet for those who can use hardware wallets for the rest of you).
- Do not boast about being involved in digital currency online or in real life. If you have to let people know, downplay the time you’ve spent and never tell how much crypto you have.
- If something sounds too good to be true (Twitter celebrates that Bitcoin sends you a smaller amount after you send them), it is almost certainly true. Treat with caution all ” free lunches. ” If you sell Bitcoin personally, it’s a good idea to use a coin mixing service before the buyer meets. This will stop them from knowing exactly how much you have in wallets from which you sell. Furthermore, meet people in illuminated public places and take someone you trust or at least let someone know where you go.
Keep up to date with previous scams and be always careful.