Ransom note scam circulating through mail threatens, targets alleged cheating spouses

Photo of alleged letter circulating (Source: Fort Mitchell Police)
Photo of alleged letter circulating (Source: Fort Mitchell Police)

FORT MITCHELL, KY (FOX19) - A threatening letter demanding ransom and targeting cheating spouses is circulating through mail, and police believe it is a scam.

The anonymous letter has been showing up at houses in Northern Kentucky. Each time, it is personalized and addressed to someone living at the home.

The note was sent to a Fort Mitchell man and claims to have secret information about the man's "misadventures." It starts off with sentences like "I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife," and " I have evidence of what you've been hiding."

"Sounds like they're trying to target cheaters," FOX19 NOW Legal Analyst Mark Krumbein said.

Two options are laid out in the letter. One option is to ignore the letter. The second option, according to the note, is to send the author a $2500 "confidentiality fee" through Bitcoin within 10 days. Bitcoin is an online digital payment system.

"They'll hit the right person. They could send out dozens or hundreds of letters, I'm sure they'll hit some 'William' who has been cheating on their wives or girlfriends," Krumbein said.

The letter claims that if the person who received it ignores the note, the writer will supposedly release the "evidence."

However, police have said that will not happen because the entire letter is a fraud and a scam.

"You would like to conduct your life where you wouldn't be in a situation where you would be blackmailed," Krumbein said. "I think you just have to take a deep breath and think 'no this seems preposterous.'"

While it can be difficult to track down whoever is behind the blackmail, local attorneys believe it can be done and could even lead to federal criminal charges.

Fort Mitchell Police said the scam has already popped up in other cities around the country.

They expect it will show up in neighboring communities, so if you come across something suspicious like the letter, they suggest contacting authorities.

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