Amsterdam Business owners are currently living in fear of criminals who are threatening to cause acts of terror unless they are paid in an extortion fee in Bitcoin.
According to a publication in the country, the NLTimes, emails have been sent out to several companies in Amersterdam demanding 50,000 euros worth of Bitcoin. If they fail to pay then according to emails, hand grenades will be planted on the premises of the businesses or the firms will be attacked with guns forcing a closure. The Dutch capital, businesses are required to close up for a period of time in case of a shooting or after an explosive device has been found.
One part of the email states:
“You probably noticed how many entrepreneurs have had to close their doors recently by order of the municipality. To prevent you from being the next one, you must immediately take action.”
The extortion fee, victims of the scheme are instructed to open an account on one of two giant crypto exchanges, Coinbase and Coinmama. They are required to then buy Bitcoins on either exchange and transfer them to a specific address.
Since summer this year, a nightclub and at least three coffee shops have received the threats. The criminals made it clear that the extortion fee will be doubled to 100,000 euros if the payment isn’t made within five days.
As reported by CCN:
“The emails also demand confidentiality and warn recipients against informing the police or anyone else. Failure to maintain confidentiality, the emails warn, will result in the extortion fee being quadrupled to bitcoins worth 200,000 euros. Immediate action to ensure the business shuts down for a minimum of three months will also be taken, the emails add. So far no business has confessed to paying the extortion fee.”
This isn’t the first time
While this isn’t the first time that criminals have extorted digital currencies from businesses, the use of threats of violence and terror is rare. Most thugs usually use the threat of deploying ransomware and has proven to be a lucrative business. The firm Sophos – cybersecurity company – predicts that teh creators of the SamSam ransomware have generated Bitcoin in over $ 6 million since 2015.
What are your thoughts? Let us know what you think down below in the comments!