What is bitcoin ransom?
One bitcoin ransom stands out in the cryptocurrency world.
As of May 2018, 1 BTC is worth about $9,600. Bitcoin's initial prices were skyrocketing, and new bitcoin mining operations were popping up as fast as they could. As prices reached record highs, scammers saw an opportunity.
Some people think it's a good way to make quick cash, but bitcoin is rarely a good choice. People who do want to buy bitcoin should buy it from reputable exchanges, or research bitcoin wallets and exchanges that they trust. Even if someone uses bitcoin without a wallet, it's still a losing bet, but they won't feel the pain for months. And the scammers get the Bitcoins, and it costs even more to buy them back.
Signs of a bitcoin scam
The bitcoin price
Bitcoin can be a great currency, and the US dollar can be extremely volatile. A fluctuating exchange rate with the US dollar doesn't seem dangerous, but when you’re moving hundreds of dollars in bitcoin per month, it's easy to be caught off guard by an abrupt change in the currency’s price. Your potential retirement funds are more likely to be at risk than the value of a few hundred dollars in bitcoin.
The reason: In order for a bitcoin to “mine” new bitcoins, you have to download the program called a "mining rig" and use your computer's processing power to produce them. Your mining rig can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
What should I do if I've been targeted by a bitcoin ransom?
If you’ve been targeted by a bitcoin ransom scam, you can recover your money by taking these steps.
Don't pay the ransom
If you have bitcoins, do not send them to the scammer. Do not ever send Bitcoin to someone you don't know. Instead, report the incident to the FBI. If you've sent funds to the scammer, contact the agency and follow its lead to get your money back.
Confirm your Bitcoin wallets
Verify that the company you've contacted can send you a Bitcoin wallet address. In the Bitcoin wallet, you will see the transaction history of your bitcoins, which can help you trace the scammer. Verify the identity of the wallet address with BitGo, which has "always been 100 percent secure," but sometimes it needs to be verified.