Ransom Emails Make Death Threats
12th January 2018
Ransom emails threatening to hurt or kill loved ones have been received by some islanders.
They demand payment in the internet currency Bitcoin, or warn the recipient or their family will be targeted by a hit-man.
Bitcoin has recently seen its value continue to rise.
The Jersey Financial Services Commission and Joint Financial Crimes Unit have issued a warning.
They say that as we’re being increasingly immune to basic scams and spam, fraudsters are using more threatening methods.
These include using personal information sourced from social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to make their attacks appear genuine.
Both organisations say they take these allegations ‘very seriously’ although they don’t believe any of the threats made in these blackmail emails are credible.
John Harris from the JFSC says it’s not a widespread problem at the moment, but they want to avoid it becoming one:
“One of the peculiar things about Bitcoin is that it’s a solely online transaction, and it’s done in such a way that means it can’t be traced once it gets into the hands of the recipient. This makes it very popular for things like this which try to trick people out of money. Anything that asks for payment as Bitcoin you should probably be on alert as it’s not something you’d want to be engaging with.”
“Do not respond, and do not send any money to fraudsters”