Letter circulating in Metro Vancouver claims recipient will die in 24 hours without Bitcoin payment: RCMP
VANCOUVER -- Mounties are letting the public know they're aware of a strange letter circulating in parts of Metro Vancouver.
The threatening letter related to Bitcoin is fraudulent, the Coquitlam RCMP said in an advisory Monday.
It's been reported by several people in Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam, they said.
CTV News reached out to the Vancouver Police Department, and a constable said so far no complaints have been made in the city.
The VPD is, however, posting an advisory on its social media channels.
It appears part of the goal of the scam is to convince those who've received the letter that the loose white powder included with it is an illicit drug.
"Congratulations! You are know in possession of a controlled substance. Payment for this product is now due!" the letter says.
It goes on to instruct recipients to send Bitcoin by scanning a QR code at the bottom of the letter.
"Send 0.05 bitcoin to the following address or die," the letter says, claiming the letter opener has just 24 hours to act.
It warns failure to do as the letter directs could also result in the death of the recipients' families.
"Property can be torched. Brake lines can be cut. A lethal dose of fentanyl can easily be hidden in Amazon packages, mail, letters, and food delivery. 1 grain is enough to kill an adult. You would never see it coming."
Its writer or writers claim to have associates who "have a habit of doing drive-bys."
Members of the Coquitlam RCMP are working with Canada Post to investigate the bizarre situation.
It is believed the letter is mass produced, and has been sent to multiple addresses.
Mounties did not say how many people have reported receiving the letter, but said all that have been reported have been identical.
No one has reported being harmed by the powder inside, but anyone who receives such a delivery is asked to put it, the envelope and any other contents in a sandwich or freezer bag and seal it.
They should then sanitize the area where the letter was open, wash their hands and call police.
Anyone who received such a letter and has not yet spoken to police is asked to contact the Coqutilam RCMP at 604-945-1550.
Additionally, scams should be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
The VPD encouraged anyone who has fallen for such a scam to call their local police non-emergency line.