This postcard appeared in our mailbox this morning — here’s the front…
…and here’s the back:
Note that there’s no postmark, which means that it was delivered by hand. How oddly and delightfully analog!
The link takes you to a simply but nicely designed page that makes the standard Bitcoin pitch that’s been around for years, with the usual talking points such as the expanding money supply and inflation, the fixed supply of Bitcoin, “it’s digital money and a computer network!”, and a couple of bits about how Bitcoin “isn’t volatile” and that “Bitcoin help stabilize the Texas energy grid through mining.” I’m not sure how that last one can possibly be true.
The “wrong number” text message
Later, just before 2:00 p.m., I got a text message from an unrecognized number: “When is your birthday?”
Just for kicks, I turned it into a conversation:
Here’s the last bit of our conversation:
Blame my inner 14-year-old: the town name “Mianus” will always be funny to me.
This is most likely a “pig butchering” style scam. It takes its name from the fact that you fatten up a pig before killing it for its meat. The term comes from the land of delicious char siu pork, China, where it originated. It’s now practiced here in North America to great effect: recently, a woman who matched up with a scammer on Hinge ended up losing $300,000 and a man lost $1 million.
Sometimes it starts via a dating or social media app, but another common approach is the text from a stranger with an attractive profile picture. The initial text messages make it look like they’re texting a wrong number, and after some seemingly-embarrassed apologies, the scammer strikes up a conversation. Then, as they gain your confidence, they start steering you towards some kind of questionable online investment, preferably one that makes the money hard to track once it’s gone.
Chances are that whoever’s supervising the texter playing “Tina” saw my responses and said “Stop wasting your time; this guy’s just yanking your chain,” which is exactly the case.