Two crypto traders in India went missing more than 2 weeks ago, with their families receiving ransom letters demanding 80 Bitcoins for their safe release. After a painstaking search, police in Jaipur managed to find the kidnapper’s lair and rescue the two Bitcoin traders. Unfortunately, not all kidnappings for Bitcoin ransom have ended with such a happy ending.
Targeting Victims Carefully
The number one rule of crypto is never talk about your crypto. Following this golden rule helps prevent you from being targeted by hackers and kidnappers who are after your Bitcoin. Talking on crypto forums with your regular name, boasting about how many sats you have in bars and sticking a big Bitcoin logo on your car are all terrible ideas – unless you want to become a victim of a crime. These two crypto traders had been posting online using their real names, making them a prime target for the kidnappers.
Bitcoin Ransom is a Bad Idea – Unless You Want to Get Caught
By and large, kidnappers don’t really get cryptocurrency and think that it’s all anonymous. Chances are they heard about Bitcoin and they think it’s untraceable. However, it is in fact only pseudonymous, meaning that as soon as someone links your wallet to your identity then the game is over. Fortunately, most fiat gateways into the crypto world have KYC processes in place, so as long as you flag your Bitcoin as being used for criminal activity, the exchange will freeze the funds and alert the authorities. It’s estimated that 44% of all ransom demands since 2018 have been in Bitcoin, leading to a higher percentage of criminals being arrested.
South Africans Joining the Bitcoin Ransom Game
Down in South Africa, a businessman was captured by kidnappers. He was then ransomed for a massive 50 Bitcoin, which his family were quick to pay. Fortunately, the man was released and police traced the Bitcoin back to the kidnappers and arrested them. Fortunately, the criminals didn’t swap the Bitcoin for a more privacy focused cryptocurrency such as Monero or use a mixer service to hide the transactions.
Fortunately, most kidnappers don’t plan things through and end up asking for Bitcoin. This means it’s easier to rescue people as well as track down the criminals. Unlike cash, crypto transactions can be traced, leading to the DEA asking more criminals to start using Bitcoin. While this kidnapping ended well for the crypto traders, it should serve as a start warning for all other crypto trader out there, especially when Bitcoin is worth so much.