Any one else being Extorted?

We got this letter at one of the locations the other day. Its so nice that the extortionist have become so upfront and polite as of late.



And the cops said what?

Extrotion is just another form of ransom and once it is paid the criminals are just emboldened to do it some more and most likely on a larger scale. Due to the amounts asked for I might guess that the extortionists are kids, but none the less, I would notify the state, and or, Federal authorities and go after them with a vengence to prosicute to the fullest extent of the law. Start developing a paper trail as proof of why complaints are being filed against your business just in case they follow through on their threat. The time to be acting is now, not after the stuff hits the fan.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

one bitcoin is currently worth about $600…

I would hunt the rat-bastards down and choke them with that piece of paper, and impale them on my sign.

We found another shop that got the same letter. Keep an eye on your mailboxes

Did you file a police report?
Here’s part of an article I read about the emerging bitcoin extortion.

"Bitcoin has grown in popularity this past year and along with that increase in use it has become a tool for cybercrime, reports The New York Times.

Technology companies, especially tech startups are finding that payment in bitcoin is the choice of cyber thieves. The FBI over the past several months has been swamped with a wave of new cyberattacks known as DDoS or denial-of-service. This cybercrime wave has been with cyber attackers sending a flood of email traffic to the victim’s site, which disrupts business. The victims are contacted and told that they must pay a ransom for it to cease.

The small tech companies, such as Evernote, find demands are increased until they pay. The payment request of these cyber attackers are to be made in bitcoin payment. Sales orders and customer service along with supplier services cannot get online in the victim’s system due to the flood of email extortion requests.

Evernote of California which provides productivity service on your own notepad from their app is quick and efficient service but not so efficient when under cyberattacks.

The demand for ransom starts with a small amount of $200-300 hundred or roughly one bitcoin or less demanding upon bitcoin value at the time of request.

California is a popular target for extortion with bitcoin since California is the number one target in the world for cybercrime and Silicon Valley hosts the technology center of the world. Venture capital and Boost Accelerator Bitcoin program is in San Mateo which plans 100 Bitcoin startups within three years."

Found another one

I wonder what the response from Yelp would be if they were asked to remove negative reviews when the extortion letter is presented to them. Oh wait they are extortionists too. Never mind.

Urbanspoon is the same. Won’t take down negative replies even when that are false, or if you tell them it is the hands of lawyers. Their reply is that it is an open forum for customers to post their experiences albeit positive or negative.
We have a review company in Australia called WOMO (Word of mouth online) and if you do a major negative review you are asked to verify your episode with receipts etc. Keeps it more honest and eliminates the threats of extortion as described in previous posts. Only wish they were all like that

(I’m a computer security researcher who, amongst other things, deals with Bitcoin)

There are several techniques law enforcement can use to track these letters, tricks that the local police might not know about (but the feds do). If you receive one of these letters, feel free to contact me (nweaver at, and I can provide some information you can take to local police.

It also may be a good idea to contact your local postal inspector as well. In particular, save the envelope.

I don’t think any review site should allow reviews good or negative with out a validate receipt to prove purchase.

Hi Nicholas,
So you’ve dealt with bitcoin blackmailers like this before? Did they get resolved?

Bitcoin in general, but not blackmailers previously: this case was the first known public bulk extortion using Bitcoin.

I don’t know of any resolution yet, but I imagine that the postal inspectors probably have a good idea who’s behind it (there is a fair bit of postal service security that the extortionists probably didn’t know that the postal inspectors do).

With this thread being revived today I just realized that we are past our “begin the extortion” date of August 1st. Nothing has happened

This is what I would assume would happen. They want to try to get a quick payment. Actually following through on the threats does nothing but leave an extensive digital trail and waste time. If they didn’t get it by the “deadline” they aren’t going to get it, so why leave evidence all over the place?

Mr. Weaver, I hope you’ll check back in with any updates. Thanks for taking the time to post here regarding this.

Our store received the exact same letter in the mail. The owner said he would look into it, but I’m pretty sure he just trashed it. Now that I think about it I believe our date was August 1st, and so far nothing has happened that I can tell