A Grin at the End: Crypto creeps – Hidden for a reason

October 2021 Posted in Uncategorized

carl sampson

The other day I was hanging off a ladder trying to patch a leak in the gutter over our garage doors. It had leaked for 11 years, but this was the moment I chose to fix it. One of my weapons of choice was some thick, industrial-strength waterproof tape. I figured if I used enough of it, anything could be made waterproof.

Except for one thing. I applied this magic tape with my bare hands. Pretty soon, there I was. My right hand was hermetically sealed to the gutter. I couldn’t peel off the tape. I couldn’t get down from the ladder. I was stuck, literally.

My wife was out running errands, and wouldn’t be home for an hour or so.

I went through my options – wait for my wife to get home and cut me loose, jump off the ladder and hope I pulled everything down. Or I could gnaw off my hand.

I decided to jump. Luckily, the gutter gave way and I was freed.

What brings this to mind is a threat I got the other day via email. Some guy claimed he had been tracking my computer – and even taking videos of me using my computer’s camera. This was really amazing, because my computer doesn’t have a camera.

The threat was this: unless I gave him a Bitcoin, he would release to the world what he found out about me.

Unfortunately, he didn’t leave his phone number. If he had, I could have called him and told him what an idiot he was.

Mainly, I am perfectly capable of embarrassing myself. After all, in nearly seven decades I’ve pretty much done it all. There was nothing some nogoodnik could do to me that was worth a bitcoin, whose current value is about $51,000.

If they wanted to make some money off me, they’d have to try harder.

I called my internet provider and the cops to let them know this was going on.

What really irked me, though, was the fact that this crap has been going on for years.

The Federal Trade Commission has an entire web page devoted to this scam. And the only way it could ever work is if someone was buffaloed into giving money to one of these dipsticks.

None of that made me feel any better. The internet provides cover for all flavors of jerks who lie, cheat, blackmail and attack people. If you’re looking for the truth, you will not find it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any of the other blackholes of the internet. They are populated by domestic and foreign enemies who hate truth and want only the worst for the U.S. They aim to confuse you and take your money, among other things.

And things like Bitcoin have proved to be the perfect way for them to anonymously get paid for their evil deeds. Drug dealers, child pornographers, blackmailers – all of the world’s pond scum – use Bitcoin and other so-called cryptocurrencies to get paid for their illegal, immoral and unethical dealings.

Why cryptocurrencies are legal anywhere is a mystery to me. It’s just the ultimate anonymous Ponzi scheme. The Securities and Exchange Commission should shut them all down.

Imagine for a moment how much better the world would be if everyone was required to put their name on everything they said and did on the internet and everywhere else.

For example, the guy who flipped me off the other day would have to give me a business card with his name, address and phone number on it.

I doubt he would be so free with his “digital” communications.

Carl Sampson is a freelance editor and writer. He lives in Stayton.

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