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Threatening letters demanding Bitcoin a scam: Coquitlam RCMP

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Summary

Coquitlam RCMP warn of a threatening letter scam that demands Bitcoin

In some cases, the letters included a white powder, which hasn't hurt anyone

COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) — Mounties say the threatening letters demanding Bitcoin, some with white powder included, arriving at Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam homes recently are a scam.

Coquitlam RCMP says numerous reports have been made about the letters since Thursday.

The letter threatens death and/or property damage if the outlined steps aren’t followed, which includes sending 0.05 bitcoin through a provided QR code.

“Congratulations! You are now in possession of a controlled substance. Payment for this product is now due!” reads the letter, which goes on to detail specific steps for the recipient.

Warning: the following letter contains explicit languageĀ 

The letter explains where Bitcoin can be purchased while threatening death several times if instructions aren’t followed.

“Brake lines can be cut. A lethal dose of fentanyl can be easily hidden in Amazon packages, mail, letters, and food delivery,” the letter reads.

“Some of our associates live in your neighbourhood and they are monitoring you. We are watching 24/7.”

Mounties believe the letters, which are all identical, were mass-produced and sent to multiple addresses.

Police say, in some cases, the white substance was found loose in the letter when opened.

“Fraudsters often attempt to pass themselves off as someone in authority,” says Coquitlam RCMP’s Const. Deanna Law. “They may impersonate a police officer or an employee of a business, financial institution, or government agency. Fraudsters use a variety of tactics, but their ultimate goal is the same-to take your money.”

Mounties say no one has been hurt by the mysterious white powder, but suggest the following as a precaution:

  • Immediately put the letter, envelope and contents in a sealable bag, either a sandwich bag or freezer bag;
  • Sanitize the area where you opened the letter;
  • Wash you hands; and
  • Call the police about the letter.

Mounties ask anyone who received a letter or who does in the future to contact them at 604-945-1550.

Canada Post is helping Mounties with the investigation.

For anyone who made a payment, police instruct them to contact their bank that transferred the money and report it to local authorities. Even if a payment wasn’t made, police say to report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online.