How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam

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“I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. You can ignore this letter, or pay me a $8600 confidentiality fee in Bitcoin”.

It’s enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine, but these chilling words are part of a new scam targeting men.

Here’s how it works. Scammers have been sending letters to men, demanding payments using bitcoin in exchange for keeping quiet about alleged affairs. The letter also explains how to use bitcoin to make the payment.

This is a criminal extortion attempt to separate people from their money.

If you — or someone you know — gets a letter like this, report it immediately to your local police, and the FBI.

Threats, intimidation and high-pressure tactics are classic signs of a scam. Learn how to stay ahead of clever crooks with these practical tips, and check out the ways you can keep your personal information secure.

Tagged with: cryptocurrency, scam

Comments

So Many... Thanks For The Info!

It happened to us. Threatened porn sites. Very upsetting. Called police but they took some info and never called back. Sad to believe people can hack in and get info. How do they decide who to contact?

I got the same email extortion threat where they used my email address and an old password in order to give their message credibility. It's a ridiculous threat, but I was upset that the password they had was from an old MicroSoft account of mine. Not sure how they got that. The person sending the email has poor English skills. I received one of these types of email threats before and it originated from Japan because the sender didn't hide their email address well enough and I saw that it ended in JP. The only thing I know about this new extortionist is their BTC Wallet: 15G9wyGRDssFXsfwEm1ihdJs2xabVPDu68. On a bitware website, that address has been reported as a scam 13 times so far. Beware.

I received the same extortion threat email today using an old password, I was really worried that they had information to sent to my contact, I was going to send them the money, I'm so glad that I googled this information finding out that this has been going on for a long time, thank you all

I received this email on Feb. 12, 2019. While I wasn't worried about a webcam video the crook claimed to have of me, the fact that s/he had a combination of an old password really scared me and they tried to extort money. They need to be caught quickly.
BTC address in my email was; 1F8Nwbr43tADcRNYpHkVQnjBaF47LMpvfe

I just received an email in my spam folder trying to black mail me about some site I was not on it did have an old email address and said they were going to contact all my contracts with this seedy information and a video. They wanted 936 bit coins. I did delete the email,but what I am reading is I should report it to the FBI. I did send out a blank email (from a different email address) to all my contacts not to open any emails from the affected email address I hope I did the right thing

cover your camera lens with black tape or dark paper. I have had mine covered for over 2 years. cant video you if covered

The answer to this latest criminality is just simply to NOT use bitcoins. Simple as that.

Uh...don't think you understand the scam. It's not the using of bitcoin that leads to the scam. 99% of the victims probably never used bitcoin, that is just what they are told to pay in. bitcoin in internet money, and that is how the blackmailer wants to be paid or he will expose the victims porn viewing, or whatever it is they are threatening to expose, even if the victim did nothing.

I just found an email in my junk folder from a scammer wanting “ compensation” for not revealing porn I supposedly watched, to my contacts, for $1000 in bitcoins.
Claiming a video was made of me watching porn, through a web cam. It’s false.. but if it was true that I watched porn..so what?! Thing that worried me was that the message also contained a previous password that I did use. Any input?

This scam is going around to a lot of people. An e-mail came in about this from my jobs IT department. I believe that some sites have malicious malware and spyware attached. Be careful where you surf online. If you are surfing on one of these sites, hackers may be able to access your browser information. Don't save passwords or usernames in your browser. Don't use the same username and password on different sites. Change your password every few months. Lastly, some sites have been hacked and if you gave any personal information for purchases, the information may have been compromised. This maybe how they got personal information. It is disturbing reading about this and pretty scary.

I just got the same email!! Jokes on them because I have NO money to give!
It is kind of crazy that they were able to get my iPhone passcode, though...what info do they have access to with that now? Are they able to see everything I type? I suppose paranoia has set in!

I am guessing that they are using email/password combos from very old lists garnished from hacks. When they contacted me, they used a pw from the massive Yahoo hack of many years ago, after which I of course changed all of my pw's.

Frannygranny, my wife got I suppose an identical email within the past day. The password provided was an old one. We're figuring that someone hacked a weakly-protected website and got passwords and emails, and sent out that letter to thousands of email addresses, figuring that they only need a small percentage of recipients to send bitcoins to make it a very lucrative scam. _IF_ you could get a big group of people who received that email to list all the websites they used that particular password on, you should be able to get a really good idea of which website was hacked. It could even have been an innocuous-looking site that was set up specifically to steal passwords, knowing that many people use the same password on many sites.

My email scammer had an old password I did use and forgot about. I think it was to a gaming registration, I can't remember but it was probably sold from someone who worked at a company I registered on. That's my thought.

I've also just started seeing these extortion attempts for $950 or so in bitcoin, with one of my old passwords in the subject header and the chestnut about me watching porn. I knew it was fake because I don't have any interest in porn (and so what if I did) and my camera on my 'puter is covered up, but the password was real - it was just a really old one. A few months back, I got a notification someone had logged in as me from Mexico and then Venezuela on some EA gaming site, I believe. I didn't even remember having that account (it was probably a one-time login I created for some fleeting reason), but when I tried to log in and check it out, that was the same password the account took. So, that might be the hack these are derived from. Or maybe it's the Yahoo hack someone else mentioned. I think I used to use that password for Yahoo a long time ago, too.

I got the same email and reported to the FTC. Not sure what will happen next. Did anything happened to your account or personal email or information? The person used my own email to write me an email. This is what they wrote: (this was today! I xxxxx out my password. So sick!!

———

Hello!

As you may have noticed, I sent you an email from your account.
This means that I have full access to your account: On moment of hack your account has password: xxxxxxx

You say: this is the old password!
Or: I will change my password at any time!

Yes! You're right!
But the fact is that when you change the password, my trojan always saves a new one!

I've been watching you for a few months now.
The fact is that you were infected with malware through an adult site that you visited.

If you are not familiar with this, I will explain.
Trojan Virus gives me full access and control over a computer or other device.
This means that I can see everything on your screen, turn on the camera and microphone, but you do not know about it.

I also have access to all your contacts and all your correspondence.

Why your antivirus did not detect malware?
Answer: My malware uses the driver, I update its signatures every 4 hours so that your antivirus is silent.

I made a video showing how you satisfy yourself in the left half of the screen, and in the right half you see the video that you watched.
With one click of the mouse, I can send this video to all your emails and contacts on social networks. I can also post access to all your e-mail correspondence and messengers that you use.

If you want to prevent this, transfer the amount of $773 to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how to do this, write to Google: “Buy Bitcoin”).

My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is: 19Q3HZtnznuB5cuWng8cacwqZV13gNpZaN

After receiving the payment, I will delete the video and you will never hear me again.
I give you 48 hours to pay.
I have a notice reading this letter, and the timer will work when you see this letter.

Filing a complaint somewhere does not make sense because this email cannot be tracked like my bitcoin address.
I do not make any mistakes.

If I find that you have shared this message with someone else, the video will be immediately distributed.

Best wishes!

thats the exact same email I got and it freaked me out cuz I was so stunned as to thinking somebody stole my old password and hacked my phone? it took me a few minutes to settle down and do a search online and found this site and I finally calmed down. I was worried they were going to make up some fake video and send it out! I cant believe a scam like this can happen.

I received the same email, but the BTC address was 1DrThpxYV7JtvrVkneuJMYtn8Fik8efSwn. Same 48 hour threat to pay.

I had the same exact thing old old password I reported to the FBI

I just got the same exact Email!

Got a similar piece a week ago. If they were truly going to threaten me they would have already done something. They made a claim about how they recorded me with my own webcam. I'm sorry, but its rather hard to record me with my webcam when its not even plugged into the computer! So yeah, 100% bogus.

And saying they can't be tracked? I'm quite sure that the FBI has ways to track a bitcoin 'address'.

Same here.. it was tempting for me reply to the scammer - they had an old password also. My email address is usually mistaken as a male ID. Local police (Baltimore) could care less, there are too many murders and armed robberies around here, police don't even care about property damage.

I found the same email in my spam folder yesterday. Also containing a password. My concern was how they got the password. I used that password for 6 accounts. I have since changed the passwords. 1 account was for Play On. 2 were local businesses and 3 were for sites that were larger and would have made the news if there was a known hack? Any similarities in your accounts/password?

I just received the exact same scam, they threaten to put a video of me watching porn onto social media if I don't pay $762 in bitcoin in 24 hours. And, like you, they had an old password of mine that really worried me. Sorry I can't help you as I too am looking for answers.

I just got the very same email. I first contacted my state's Attorney General's office and was told to report to FCC. Called the FCC and they said to contact the FTC. I'm going to contact my local FBI office.

You don't understand. I never used bitcoin.It is the way the scammer demands payment; through bitcoin, in an attempt to remain anonymous. Here is what they said to me: "Thu‌s, I e‌xpe‌ct pa‌yme‌nt fro‌m yo‌u‌ i‌nte‌nde‌d fo‌r my qu‌i‌e‌t.

I be‌li‌e‌ve‌ $900 i‌s a‌n a‌ppro‌pri‌a‌te‌ pri‌ce‌ re‌ga‌rdi‌ng thi‌s!

Pa‌y wi‌th Bi‌tco‌i‌ns.

My BTC wa‌lle‌t i‌s 1P67uv2wEFCGZhU3DgH7azRxmrXc9kyX3g

If yo‌u‌ do‌ no‌t re‌a‌lly u‌nde‌rsta‌nd ho‌w to‌ do‌ thi‌s - su‌bmi‌t i‌n to‌ Go‌o‌gle‌ 'ho‌w to‌ tra‌nsfe‌r mo‌ne‌y to‌ a‌ bi‌tco‌i‌n wa‌lle‌t'. It i‌s no‌t di‌ffi‌cu‌lt."

This Bitcoin scam is not only targeting males! I am a female and have also received a similar threat. The email had somehow confiscated one of my passwords and threated to use pictures, etc. to make pornographic videos and posters using my face. They also demanded that I pay thousands of dollars in Bitcoin. I immediately recognized this as a scam, changed all sites using that password and did not respond. I wish I had kept the email and shared with the FBI. Thank you for telling us how to handle receipt of such and I will definitely report it to the FBI should I receive any similar emails.

I have received exactly the same email. I told them I was not a tech friendly guy and that they should send a paypal email as I do not know about how botcoin works. They never responded. Had they sent the paypal email, I would have reported to authorities.

I didn't know to forward to FBI instead of deleting and holding my breath. Glad I read this!

I am going threw this right now. A few days ago it was my phone. Blocked. Claimed the porno crap n demanding $500. As if the fbi use vanilla cards to collect fees. I new something was wrong. Needless to say i had to get a new phone. Yesterday i got the email n the fool wants me to pay $7000.

Hi, I just got one of these e-mails. Question, did they actually block your phone? They're saying they will block my phone, too. The password they said they had wasn't valid though, but was very similar to one I'd used years and years ago. I reported this to the fbi, copied and pasted it right into the fbi website complaint form!

If they locked your phone, it may not be fake. Be careful, & report it to FBI.

I'm also a female that received the same type of scam email. They're letting me off cheap though! They only want $900 for now but they will probably come back asking for more if I follow their instructions. If they want to plaster my 62 year old face all over the internet with porn let them! hahaha I don't think anyone would find it very interesting.

Recently got email wanting Bitcoin ransom. Had my email name and pw.

I already have this and I find it helpful . You should of done this years ago. I tell people about the scams that you send out.

This hasn't happened to me but i do file a lot of reports of scam numbers. I usually get them every day. A lot from other states. ...

Thanks FTC, for your ongoing efforts! I received two of these scam emails within one week. While local law enforcement did not take a report, stating that since I had not suffered any loss there was nothing they could do, both the FTC and the FBI took my information. There has been no further action from the scammers. Keep up the good work, you guys!

Tell your local law enforcement to stop being lazy. Attempted crimes are still crimes regardless if they payout or not. Do they still investigate attempted murder if no one dies .. derp.

How can I make this as spam on my iPhone?

I just want to know how to report to FBI? Thank you.

Follow the link in this blog to www.fbi.gov/contact-us.

I am a female and received such a scam letter, stating that they had pics of me involved in sex acts and would expose me if I didn't pay them thousands in Bitcoin. I didn't think twice about informing the FTC. Wish I had know to forward the info to the FBI. But I am grateful the word is out to save people unnecessary grief.

I got a similar scam over a week ago but it was directed towards porn. I deleted it.

I've had this a few times now. I knew it was a scam immediately - but was concerned as they started the email with my password. I immediately changed the password.

After receiving one of these I immediately filed an on line report with the FBI and notified everyone on my mailing list that they could receive an email with a lot of pornography. I explained the attempt to blackmail me and the threats of the lowlife that thought that I was as dumb as he/she is. I have yet to hear back from the the scum that sent the blackmail.

My sister and co-worker received this e-mail. I will let them know. Thank You!!!

I received something similar to this. It tried to claim legitimacy by showing a one of my passwords (supposedly gathered by a keystroke logger and a hijacked webcam). I did some research and found that the password was an old LinkedIn password of mine from 4+ years ago, probably acquired through a LinkedIn data breach and sold to the extorter.

I ignored the threat email, since there was no way its claims were true. It was purely an attempt to scare me into complying with its demands.

Lesson: Change your passwords regularly, especially after reported data breaches. Also, keep your device's protection software current. Do not immediately click on links or attachments in emails you receive. Take time to inspect them for authenticity. Do not panic if you receive an extortion email. Alert the appropriate authorities.

Thank you for informing me about all these scams. I get calls on my cell phone daily trying to get my credit card information by telling me that they are trying to give me a lower interest rate. How can I stop this? I am already on the no call list.

I'm 24 yrs old and a single male. So far, I'm still being attacked, their are many groups of unwanted people within my life, I've been receiving many letters of different checks and I haven't succeeded any of my financial goals. I'm exhausted of trying to report each problem after many attempts in contacting the FBI and you guys and NOTHING in return. I know there's something fishy going on and all I'd like is my happy life back.. With a happy future... Please, I'd like to start a new ch. In my life because this is just stupid... Like at least a deal or something...

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