South Africa: Kidnappers ask Bitcoins as Ransom Money For A Missing Nine Year Old Girl
January 5th, 2019
Kidnapper demanded an immediate transfer of 5 Bitcoin within 48 hours to this BTC address – 1Bk4TQzDXhxGgMwrXcaFhViSyoT9GLk2kN in return for a missing nine-year-old girl in Cape Town, a Capital of South Africa.
Bitcoin Ransom Demand for Missing Linathi Titshala
According to the reports, the girl named ‘Linathi Titshala’ disappeared on December 16, 2018, in Delft, Africa when she was coming from her grandma’s house to her home after celebrating her birthday on December 14. It’s been two weeks today and there is no clue of where the girl is missing. However, on January 04, 2019, an African local media reported that the kidnapper had left a note on social media and anti-crime website on January 03, which allegedly demands 5 Bitcoins for the safe return of the nine-year-old Linathi Titshala. At press time, one bitcoin is trading at $ $3,876.47 and consequently, the value of 5 Bitcoins would count $ 19382.35, a price similar to what Bitcoin was trading in late December 2017.
Besides social media, an email received by a group called ‘Western Cape Gangwatch’ notes scammer’s warning and is trying to track the IP address and the Bitcoin code.
You have 48 hours should you not transfer the bitcoin in 48 hours we will cease communication. This email is going to be deleted in 12 hours.”
However, the spokesperson believes that the email might be created ‘at internet café’ that enables automatic deletion. The scammers seem more clever making this email thus ‘not leaving a point to track through IP address’. Nevertheless, the investigation and search for ‘Linathi’ is ongoing, the spokesperson says;
“Hopefully they realize the family’s circumstances and realize they cannot keep the girl for a lengthy period,”.
The statement continued;
“We are pooling all resources including doing a search again in the coming week. There will be a search for Linathi on Monday, 7 January and Tuesday, 8 January, [from] 9am-4pm.
Bitcoin abuse by scammers on rise
Although bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption is on rising in the African continent, scammers, hackers and bad actors are abusing the very anonymous nature of bitcoin. Similar to Linathi’s case, coingape has recently reported on how attackers are misusing cryptocurrency mechanism via sending threatening emails and fake calls.