UK police: 562 Bitcoin-related blackmail cases identified over the past 2 years

The UK police recently reported that since 2018, it has recorded hundreds of complaints about Bitcoin-related blackmailing. According to a statement dated March 19, Parliament Street analytical center examined the work of 13 police districts over the past two years and revealed 562 reports about blackmailers demanding a ransom in cryptocurrency.

In some districts a burst of blackmailing was massive. In 2018, the North Yorkshire police recorded only 6 incidents. Yet in 2019, it recorded 115 complaints, a detailed statement reports.

In one case, for example, a hacker blocked all of the user’s business data and then demanded Bitcoins if the user wanted them unblocked. He also threatened to increase the ransom for unblocking if the victim did not pay in time. The other common scheme was to threaten to disclose personal information if the victim didn’t transfer money in BTC.

According to the analysis, some districts demonstrated particularly high criminal rate associated with Bitcoin wallets, 89 of them in the Greater Manchester police, 82 in Hertfordshire and 21 in Leicestershire.

Andrew Martin, CEO of Retail Financial Consulting, a technology partner for the banking and retail sector commented:

“The rising tide of digital financial crime will bring a shiver down the spine of consumers, who are already acutely aware of the risk of fraud and blackmail from malicious hackers”, Andrew Martin, CEO of Retail Financial Consulting commented in the statement.

“These incidents underline the risks associated with online currencies, which are often an easy way for anonymous third parties to extort money from victims, without detection”, he added.

Martin also added a note for the future. “Moving forward, it’s time for the big banks to recognise that the aggressive push towards a cashless society is forcing many people to experiment with new forms of investment, some of which come with significant risks”.

It’s worth mentioning that according to statistics, in 2018-2019, 4% of all blackmailing cases in the UK involved cryptocurrencies. The other 96% of cases involved traditional fiat currencies. Besides blackmailing, there are other types of fraudulent activities that you can avoid with the AMLSafe crypto wallet, if you ever think which Bitcoin wallet to choose. Follow the link to learn more.