NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — More than a dozen people in Connecticut have received anonymous letters threatening to kill family members unless a bitcoin ransom is paid. Local law enforcement authorities in Fairfield County and the FBI are investigating the 14 threats, delivered to residents’ homes in letters postmarked from Austin, Texas and Jacksonville, Florida.
The letters detail how to open an account and issue a $2,000 bitcoin payment before a Feb. 13th deadline:
“[Recipient] 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 [recipient], 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, [recipient], or someone else to whom you are close. Or you can simply pay us the $2,000. To make the payment do the following.
1. Open an account at any online Bitcoin exchange, such as Bitstamp.net or Coinbase.com
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Withdrawal (sic) all Bitcoin you purchased to the following Bitcoin address: 19vcdWcV4J8bhH7j3igHZ5q4WGT2UX5V2S
5. 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”.
6. You are finished. Breath (sic) easy, and live your life in peace knowing you will never have to deal with us again.”
The letters also include a “Note to Law Enforcement” explaining that police will never be able to catch or identify the culprits. So far, residents in Farmington, Ridgefield and Redding, Connecticut have received the threatening mail, addressed to one resident at each address, but mentioning the names of others living in the homes.