Businesses are being served printed 'Notice of Extortion' letters demanding Bitcoins to avoid 'severe and irreparable' damage to their reputation.
A handful of US Pizza restaurants have reported the scam to local newspapers, and to Reddit. The letters appear to come from the same extortionist.
The letters demanded payment of one Bitcoin (US$578) within a month or have the fee escalated to three coins (US$1730).
The villains threatened a laundry list of attacks for non-payment ranging from "negative online reviews" and complaints to the US Better Business Bureau, to denial of service attacks against telephones, mercury contamination and various reports to police of false financial crimes and drug production allegedly taking place at the victim business.
"Because many of the actions we take are catastrophic and irreversible, it is advised pay the tribute before the deadline is reached," the letters read.