Local residents have received emails claiming to be a hitman hired to kill them. The email writer claims to have had a change of heart and offers to turn over the name of the person who commissioned the killing in exchange for bitcoins, a digital, or virtual, currency.
Bitcoin has no physical form but exists as a “digital token” that can be exchanged for cash through third-party services. Its value fluctuates. With no central bank controlling it, its users are anonymous and it can’t be traced once sent, leaving police unable to follow a money trail.
Police say the “Death Threat Email Scam” is a fraud, and recommend that people don’t respond to unsolicited emails, don’t send money (virtual or otherwise) to anyone they don’t know, don’t provide personal information, including banking details, to strangers and be cautious when contacted by anyone asking for payment in bitcoin or prepaid gift cards.
Anyone receiving an email like should not reply. Instead, report it to the city police at 705-876-1122 or at http://www.peterboroughpolice.com/report/a-crime/ , or call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre toll free 1-888-495-8501, online at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Read the full story over at the Peterborough Examiner.