Police in Philadelphia are warning people about an email presently circulating threatening to expose the person receiving the email as having cheated on his wife unless a ransom of $2,000 is paid through bitcoins. The email reads in part, “Let’s cut to the chase. I know you cheated on your wife. More importantly, I have evidence of the infidelity. I am going give you two options. Either ignore this letter or pay me $2,000…” The emails come directed to the intended blackmail victim by name, however, due to the huge number of these emails presently being sent, it is likely that the scammer is bluffing and does not have evidence of infidelity. Police are advising people receiving these emails not to pay the demanded extortion money.
The scammers may believe that many married people are unfaithful and are therefore casting a wide net with their extorting emails hoping to find a significant number of cheating spouses willing to pay the amount demanded, however, studies have concluded that the actual number of people having affairs is only about 13%.
Paying money to an extortionist is never a good policy because even in the best of circumstances you can never be sure that the extortionist will follow through with his or her share of the bargain. Obviously, in this particular scam, people who have not cheated on their spouses have nothing to worry about, however, giving in to the demands of an extortionist without any proof that the extortionist has the evidence he or she claims is not advisable.