I’m actually being blackmailed! For real! I mean, who ever would have thought?!! I freely admit to trending off the beaten path. But blackmail? Really?!
I spent most of the past month chilling out in San Fransisco. Steve joined me for a bit, but when he returned to our home in Atlanta, he found this letter addressed to me in our mailbox:1
[The second page is detailed instructions (20 steps) on setting up and making a Bitcoin transaction.]
Hello [my legal name], I’m going to cut to the chase. My name is RedStep~91 and I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. More importantly, I have evidence of what you have been hiding. I won’t go into the specifics here in case your wife intercepts this, but you know what I am talking about.
You don’t know me personally and nobody hired me to look into you. Nor did I go out looking to burn you. It is just your bad luck that I stumbled across your misadventures while working a job around Atlanta. I then put in more time than I probably should have looking into your life.
Frankly, I am ready to forget all about you and let you get on with your life. And I am going to give you two options that will accomplish that very thing. Those two options are to either ignore this letter, or simply pay me $8,550. Let’s examine those two options in more detail.
Option 1 is to ignore this letter. Let me tell you what will happen if you choose this path. I will take this evidence and send it to your wife. And as insurance against you intercepting it before your wife gets it, I will also send copies to her friends, family and your neighbors on and around [street on which I live]. So, [legal name], even if you decide to come clean with your wife, it won’t protect her from the humiliation she will feel when her friends and family find out your sordid details from me.
Option 2 is to pay me $8,550. We’ll call this my “confidentiality fee”. Now let me tell you what happens if you choose this path. Your secret remains your secret. You go on with your life as though none of this ever happened. Though you may want to do a better job at keeping your misdeeds secret in the future.
At this point you may be thinking, “I’ll just go to the cops.” Which is why I have taken steps to ensure this letter cannot be traced back to me. So that won’t help, and it won’t stop the evidence from destroying your life. I’m not looking to break your bank. I just want to be compensated for the time I put into investigating you.
Let’s assume you have decided to make all this go away and pay me the confidentiality fee. In keeping with my strategy to not go to jail, we will not meet in person and there will be no physical exchange of cash. You will pay me anonymously using bitcoin. If you want me to keep your secret, then send $8,550 in BITCOIN to the Receiving Bitcoin Address listed below.
Payment MUST be received within 9 days of the post marked date on this letter’s envelope.
If you are not familiar with bitcoin, attached is a “How-To” guide. You will need the below two pieces of information when referencing the guide.
Required Amount: $8,550
Receiving Bitcoin Address:
Tell no one what you will be using the bitcoin for or they may not give it to you. The procedure to obtain bitcoin can take a day or two so do not put it off. Again, payment must be received within 9 days of this letter’s post marked date. If I don’t receive the bitcoin by the deadline, I will go ahead and release the evidence to everyone. If you go that route, then the least you could do is tell your wife so she can come up with an excuse to prepare her friends and family before they find out. The clock is ticking, [legal name].
This is comically absurd! My wife will find out? And find out what, exactly? Oh, yes: the sordid details of my “misdeeds.” A “confidentiality fee?” Riiiight! My day-to-day life is soooo ordinary—except for, apparently, whatever I’m hiding from my wife!
I mean, get real! RedStep~91 didn’t do their3 homework. And RedStep~91’s grammar is good, but they need to learn proper English punctuation/mechanics.
I’ve received a couple of emails through the years: “We have millions of dollars our small unstable nation needs to protect in offshore accounts. Please send us your detailed banking information; so, we can deposit it in your account for safekeeping. For your troubles, we will let you keep the interest…”
But this attempt to extort money reaches a new low. I guess it works for some percentage of people or RedStep~91 (Russian? A friend of Trump?) wouldn’t be doing it. But, really?! Are people that stupid?! That fearful?! [rolling my eyes completely out of my head]
And why that amount of money? I’m wondering if that is what a Bitcoin was trading at on the day the blackmail letter was printed?
Anyway, any contributions you care to make to my blackmail fund are appreciated! Hahaha! The ninth day will soon pass! Make your donations now! What the hell am I going to do?! My wife and everyone in my neighborhood are going to find out the sordid details of my misdeeds!
This would make a great remake of an Amy Winehouse song: “They tried to extort some Bitcoin, and I said, ‘No. No. No.’” Does life actually get any more absurd than this?
Want a quick “deep dive” into what Bitcoin is? Watch John Oliver’s video below. It’s pretty informative, actually. Or. you can check out the Netflix documentary on Bitcoin.