Have you been targeted by a bitcoin extortion scam? This form of scam has been common in the past couple of years. In the most common form, the scammer emails you to say that they have hacked your computer, they’ve been watching your online activity, and you should be ashamed of yourself. They claim to have incriminating evidence and say they will send it to your loved ones, maybe even your employer, if you don’t send them bitcoin. They will frequently share one of your passwords to show how serious they are.
Another BTC extortion scam involves genuinely locking your computer down with ransomware, and demanding a BTC payment for removing the software and restoring control of your computer.
What should you do if you are targeted by these scams? And can you recover scammed bitcoin after you’ve paid?
Don’t panic if a hacker says they have your password. If you look closely, you will often find that the password they have is a very old one. This scammer doesn’t have spyware on your computer: they bought a list of passwords on the dark web. You will probably find that the password in question was part of one of the many data breaches that have happened in the past few years.
If you are still using that password on any site, make sure to change it and replace it with a more secure password. This may be a good opportunity to read up on good online hygiene and password usage.
Whatever you do, don’t pay the scammer! It is very difficult to recover scammed bitcoin.
If you are locked out of important files on your computer, you may feel like you have to pay just to get on with your life. That said, while ransomware can be difficult to remove, and you may be inconvenienced, the general advice is to never pay hackers to remove your ransomware. You’re giving them what they want! Instead, enlist the help of a cybersecurity expert to clean up your computer and recover whatever encrypted files they can.
Bitcoin is a popular payment option with scammers specifically because most people don’t know how to recover scammed bitcoin. It can be very difficult to get your bitcoin back, and practically impossible to do on your own.
You should report the fraud to the relevant local and possibly national authorities. They probably can’t get your money back, but they track the instances of these crimes and spread awareness in the community to prevent others from falling victim. With enough evidence they may even be able to capture the scammers, or at least shut down their operations.
The authorities rarely know how to get bitcoin back from a scammer. For that, you need to turn to recovery experts, such as Claim Justice. We have years of experience with getting scammers to pay back what they have stolen. Contact us to find out if we can see a solution for how to recover your scammed bitcoin and make the scammers pay.
If you’re looking for help recovering from a Bitcoin Trader Scam, please read our guide on that topic.