One statistics site indicates an increase in sextortion of 1,300% from March to April
The website BitcoinAbuse.com was created to work as a database to include every report from the people being victims of scammers of other criminals using cryptocurrency. Based on the data shared by the site, April saw a 1,300% increase in the number of extortion reports using Bitcoin (BTC). The most common report was sextortion by scammers, most likely taking advantage of the population following quarantine orders.
The founder of BitcoinAbuse.com, Alan Reed, told Cointelegraph that he created the site in response to the WannaCry ransomware. But the site allows anyone to report cases of criminals trying to extort people and take crypto from them. Reed mentioned that since the year began, at least 68,000 reports have been submitted and with 21,000 of those cases reporting a unique Bitcoin address.
March saw only 3,864 cases reported, while April was flooded with 48,370 reports filed. An important portion of this explosion in reports come from sextortion cases. “There’s no particular reason for it, as far as I can tell. Maybe they are trying to take advantage of people stuck at home during the quarantine or trying to make extra money during this lockdown,” added Reed.
Reed added that he does not believe that these reports are referring to recent hacks; the emails used were old, “The passwords being used are very old. […] So I suspect if you’re running, these scams are buying very old password dumps or possibly even finding old dumps for free on the darknet. I don’t think they’re paying for the premium fresh in the dumps.”