Stamford police are investigating after scammers mailed death threats to local families, demanding money in exchange for sparing their lives, and this is not the only town the scam is happening.
The letters identify the victim's family members by name, make threats and explain how to make a $5,000 payment using Bitcoin, according to police. Five families in Stamford have reported the letters to police.
"As convincing and threatening these letters are, they are all a scam by playing on your fears for your family’s safety in exchange for money," Stamford police said in a news release. "In these letters they have done research to find out your relatives names and then they place this into a form letter and mail them out to thousands of unsuspecting people. All of the letters that we have encountered are exactly the same except they change the names and accounts on every letter. All of the letters have been received through the US postal service with no return address on them."
Last week, Farmington police said they have received two complaints within a week from residents who received threatening letters addressed to their homes. According to police, those notes were postmarked in Austin, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida.
The notes sent in Farmington begin as follows:
"XXX you do not know who we are, but we have been tracking you and your loved ones for a while now. We know your schedules. We know where you all live and spend your time. We also know how to kill any one of you without being caught. Now XXX, don't panic. This isn't personal. You did nothing to deserve this. You were just one of a handful of families unfortunate enough to draw our attention."
They continue on to say, "However, nobody has to die," then instruct the recipients to create an account through any online Bitcoin exchange and deposit $2,000.
"Withdrawal [sic] all Bitcoin you purchased to the following Bitcoin address: 19vcdWcV4J8bhH7j3igHZ5q4WGT2UX5V2S," the letters instruct. "Be sure to type all 34 characters of that Bitcoin address in EXACTLY."
The mailings also include a "Note to Law Enforcement" explaining that police will never be able to catch or identify the culprits.
Stamford police want to assure residents that the letters are part of a scam, there is no direct threat, the FBI has been notified and anyone who received the letter should call police.