Blackmail Scam Alert


The office of Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has sent out a fraud alert concerning a blackmail letter scam.

“It is a new scam. We are seeing people receiving these letters,” said Paul Eakins, spokesman for Lacey’s office.

Everyone has secrets, and fraudsters using a new blackmail scam are banking on that. In the Blackmail Letter Scam, the victim receives a letter stating that the sender has information about a “secret” that could be harmful to the victim if revealed, according to a statement.

“The con artist may claim to have emails, photos or other proof of an affair or some other scandalous situation. The scammer demands payment, often in bitcoin, in exchange for the [silence].”

The DA’s office offers tips for those who receive these letters or emails:

• Don’t trust letters or emails that make outrageous claims or demands.

• Don’t make payments to unknown entities by phone, online or in person.

• Change your email and social media account passwords if you receive such a letter as hackers often sell lists of compromised account holders to blackmail scammers.