"I know you cheated on your wife."
Those chilling words were in a letter sent to Dave Eargle's home. The then-graduate student found the note in his mailbox and could not believe what he was reading.
"It is just your bad luck that I stumbled across your misadventures while working a job," the letter continued.
"Even if you decide to come clean with your wife about your cheating, doing so won't protect her from the humiliation she will feel when her friends and family find out the sordid details from me."
And then finally, a demand: "If you want me to destroy the evidence and leave you alone forever then send $2,000 in BITCOIN."
Eargle is happily (and faithfully) married, but said the blackmail letter had him on edge.
"And I had to think for a second because I was in a bit of a fluster, 'Am I actually keeping a secret from my wife?'" said Eargle, now an assistant professor at University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business. "It was scary because I felt like I was being targeted."