Scams are constantly evolving and turning up in different incarnations. In fact, the Nigerian email scam of today can be traced back to a scam operated during the 1500s which has come to be known as the Spanish Prisoner Scam. Today’s scam of the day has been evolving over the two years since I first reported to you about it. It starts with a communication threatening to expose the person receiving it as having cheated on his wife (for some reason it is only directed to men) unless a ransom of around $8,600 in bitcoins is paid. The communication comes 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 extortion 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%. While versions of this scam during the past few years have generally used email for the mode of communication, in an unusual action, these letters are now being received as old-fashioned snail mail letters. While they are personalized by name and address, the letters lack any evidence to support the sender’s allegation of infidelity.
TIPS
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 definitely not advisable.
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