FARMINGTON–A new scam is hitting Connecticut, and it’s a bit out of the ordinary, according to police.
Letters have been sent to residents in several towns–including Farmington, Ridgefield and Redding–threatening to kill a loved one if money wasn’t forked over via Bitcoin.
Farmington Police say there were two complaints in town this week; the letters were addressed to one resident at each address, but included the names of both adults living in the homes.
The reason scam was unique is because they were sent via the Untied States Postal Service, not email, and the letters were well-written without common grammatical errors. The letters also had personal information.
The letters sent to Farmington were postmarked from Austin, Texas and Jacksonville, Florida.
Two days ago, Redding Police say they got a report from a homeowner who received a letter asking for $3,000 to not harm a family member. Also, Ridgefield Police say they have an investigation ongoing and have contacted the FBI.
Farmington Police Lt. Colin Ryan says the department has contacted the FBI and the postal inspector; the FBi said this is a new scam that they’ve seen in Fairfield County. So far, 14 complaints have been reported, according to the FBI.
The letters told the victims not to contact police, but also had a “note to law enforcement” warning officers that they will never find the perpetrators or identify them because all leads would end up with a dead end. This is possible since the scam asks the money to be sent via Bitcoin, which is nearly untraceable.
Redding Police say they are more than 99 percent sure this is a scam.
Here’s an excerpt from one of the letters sent to a Farmington resident:
You do not know who we are, but we have been tracking you and your loved ones for a while now.We know your schedules. We know where you all live and spend your time. We also know how to kill any one of you without being caught. Now XXX, don’t panic. This isn’t personal. You did nothing to deserve this. You were just one of a handful of families unfortunate enough to draw our attention. However, nobody has to die. Allow us to explain.
You have until 12:00 PM on February 13, 2015 to pay us $2,000. If you do not comply with that simple demand, the following will happen: we will kill you, XXX, or someone else to whom you are close. Or you can simply pay us the $2,000. To make the payment do the following.
- Open an account at any online Bitcoin exchange, such as Bitstamp.net or Coinbase.com
- Deposit $2,000 into that account. Do not wait until the last minute to do this. It will likely take you about a week to open an account, get it verified, and process the transaction.
- Use the entire $2,000, minus whatever small fee the exchange charges, to purchase Bitcoins on the exchange. if you are unsure about the process of buying Bitcoins, google it.
- Withdrawal all Bitcoin you purchased to the following Bitcoin address: 19vcdWcV4J8bhH7j3igHZ5q4WGT2UX5V2S
- Be sure to type all 34 characters of that Bitcoin address in EXACTLY. It is case sensitive. The first character is a number “one”, NOT a lowercase “L”.
- You are finished. Breath easy, and live your life in peace knowing you will never have to deal with us again.