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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.


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?

They don't target just one person - they bulk 'spam'. I receive several of these each month on four or five different email addresses (ironically, to do with businesses I used to run, but am now retired). They are obvious fakes. I don't have a webcam, so I don't know what videos of me they are referring to. The part that really annoys me is that the emails seem to come from my own email account, so I can't even report them as spam!

I too didn’t have a webcam on my laptop until recently but have not watched porn on my new laptop or in a while period.
I received 3 messages to my junk folder in a yahoo account . I opened 1 l(wish I didn’t) but the two lined preview on the other 2 show the exact same message and grammatical error in the same spot which tells me everything I need to know about the other two. and that they’re the exact same.
Here’s what the email said: “i know ***** is one of your password. I've recorded your cam while you were watching porn on XX sites, also I've installed a keylogger on ur pc & collected all your contacts on social networks, messenger & emails.
If you want me to erase the recording, pay me 1167$ on bitcoin address: 37dTFRmfNpM 85MwQk AiWRUWYT2Lxm9MFCr
(search in Google for "how to buy bitcoin"), [case SenSitiVe so copy & paste it]. If I don't get the bitcoins, I will definately send your video to all of your contacts, don't reply to this email it's hacked. FknvwI” —————————————
It’s From: Gary Martinez (all the names were random 1st and last) Email: Parsons@ All 3 sent 4/26/2020
And I don’t know where to report it??

Hi that also happened to my son, they say he was doing porn and they will send it to the world, if we dont pay 2000 dollars.

May 13, 2020 I got one this morning time stamp 5:15 am. Asking for the same 2000 bitcoins. Also telling me they have video of me watching porn. My computer doesn't have a webcam. I called my computer tech, he told me it was scam and do not open the link they sent with the letter for the bit coins.

Is BTC the same as Bitcoin ? Because I got a similar email ?

I just received one, it was in my spam folder. The password they mentioned in the email was a compromised password (according to Google Chrome). What lead me to believe that it was fake, is the fact that if I wanted to have proof the guy would have sent it to 8 friends. So if he really had something, he would send a 10 second excerpt to me, enough for anyone to pay right away. So it's a bulk scam using hacked passwords.

I got a similar email this evening. Same contents as you mention!

i received the same email threat as well and filed a report to the ftc..thats all i can do,,the cops wont take any action on this even the FBI they are busy with more important issues a downer for me

I'm female and received one of these emails today, accusing me of the whole porn thing and requiring $2,000 in bitcoins to keep them silent. The sender name showed as Mahala, but the email address shown when you hover over is <yazkqj@ The email language was very creepy. Does the FTC track these, or is it too rampant to really do anything?? A few weeks ago someone tried to log into my Yahoo acct from Vietnam - I presume this may be related. Has anyone had follow up from local law enforcement or the FBI?

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.

Saw one in my junk folder from Monday night wanted 867 $ very wierd number. I know it's bs I have not gone to a porn site in a long time

Four of these letters so far. Here's the funny part. I don't have a webcam and have never been to a porn site in my entire life.

I get these at least three and four times a day. I have never been on a porn site in my life, but they are annoying the living daylights out of me. It would be funny, since I am a woman in her late 70’s, if it weren’t so darn annoying

Yesterday evening I received a weird and awkwardly worded email demanding I send them $1288 ASAP or they would post photos of me in compromising positions. The perpetrator was using an an address that I had last used in 2016. PS I am a woman in my early 70s. Though I look pretty good for my age ( if I must say so myself, ha ha! ) but hardly a candidate for porn photography :-)

I just received the same email requesting $2000BTC or I will “live out of shame for the rest of my existence.”

I received one today
What did u do?

I got 2 emails today. Same kind of sextortion!

I received the same message...just as a text

That is the same one I just got. Exact same wording. Reporting it but not sure how they’ll catch them or if the FBI would even try. I’m sure there are some people so freaked out that they end up paying them or they would not keep doing this scam.

I got the same email today I was completely freaked out so I put tape over my tablet and cellphone the threaten to send out a video of me mastubating if I didn't purchase $2000 in bitcoin within 24 hours or everyone in my fb would see it I deleted my fb account they used the year I was born and my initials

Question did anything they were saying took place ?

I received the same message today. I freaked out and changed my password and deleted my contacts. I don't know if that would help.

I just received the same. With an old password in the subject heading. From this email ohwvru@

Yeah apparently I will “live in shame” then cause I’m not giving anyone anything either. What losers these people are. Get a job.

I am a 69 year old woman who was threatened that if I didn't send $950. in bitcoins, a video of myself watching porn would be sent to my contact list. LOL
I told my kids that if they received such a video to assume that is their Christmas gift from me for this year . I don't have a camera or watch porn.

Ha! I received the same threat today...on my birthday of all days!! While the threat they are putting me to is bogus, watching porn, etc... the only interesting part was they actually had an old password I used a long, long time ago for I don't even know what. Made me wonder how that would have been found???

I just received an email with the same information listing an old password at the top and telling me to reply "proof" and they would send it to 6 of my contacts. They wanted 2,000 bitcoin. I have never visited any sites or any video they claim. I was concerned because it was sent to my company email address, not my personal. If you try to save it, the words turn to gibberish so I did a cut and paste and saved it. I knew not to forward it to IT or report it using the original email. I just went ahead and deleted.

They are still active because I received the same email today. It originated from a Hotmail account.

I received the Same email.

Just got the same email

I just got two last night. And when I went to delete them, noticed two more that had been caught in my spam filter. While I know it was b.s., I still lost sleep due to the tone of the email and the threatening nature. I'm so happy I googled all of this today and found you all.

I just found this horrible BTC threat email in my account. I've been sick for over a week and decided to look at my emails. I don't have webcam, nor have I every been on any porn sites. I was to report to my email carrier, however I can never get through and that you can also report to the FBI.

Yup, same thing here. I occasionally get emails from somebody saying they will expose me for visiting pornographic sites and this and that. And they have a recording of me (which is funny because I don't have a video camera attached to my computer) But it does send shivers down your spine a bit. I usually just ignore them and then....nothing happens. But I should report them to be safe.

Started getting these a couple years ago, but just increased in frequency. However, I do know where the old password came from - about 10 years ago our ISP was hacked, and they warned us to change our passwords. Someone is paying for very old info from the dark web. No wonder they need $$. Bitcoin demand was: 1M3y6ZZgLZpyXzVoQnXkkHSVbpR6tChbj1

I just received the same email. Very disturbing. I don’t watch porn or have a webcam. I’m a 72 yr old woman. Grrrr.

I got the same email today! This is disturbing! A very old password of mine from many, many years ago was on the subject line. That is scary. How did they get that?? I don't visit porn sites and I don't have a camera on my computer. They threatened that they would ruin my life by forwarding the "video" of me doing some unmentionable things to all my contacts on Facebook and smartphone contacts and they know all my online activity on my computer from the previous 117 days. I called my local police department but they said there was nothing they could do since I did not lose anything. She did give me some place to go, such as here, to report it, but seeing how this has been happening for a long time I don't think I will bother. I hope no one has fallen for the scam and lost money.

I just rec'd the EXACT same email and yes, MOST QUITE disturbing. Had my heart rate up and actually trembled a little bit. Still trying to calm down from reading it. Especially because of the old password/username and them knowing it. :(

Got email, the exact same, today. How many people are paying?

Me too! I received two of these emails that said they had a video of me watching porn on my pc... They wanted $2000 paid to bitcoin. Im 67 years old. I just laughed. It's sad these people try to con people this way.

Glad I read these emails. I had a second more threatening email this morning with plenty of language in it about me if I didn’t buy the Bitcoin they wanted. They said they would put a video of me on the net to Facebook and contacts of me watching porn. Nasty people. Spoke to Gosford detectives and they told me it’s a scam but it worried me that they had an old password of mine.
This really needs to stop. Not nice people doing this.

I just received an identical email to what you are describing, and as soon as I googled the bitcoin scam, many links popped up outlining the scam email, which is sent out in bulk and has zero credibility at all. They did have an old password, which I have not used in well over a year, and I have certainly not visited any of these websites, let alone from my work computer. It's a scripted scam and I hope that absolutely no one falls for this nonsense!

I got the same email today, using an old password, as well. WTH

I received a similar email today with old email in subject line. It was very long and I did not read the entire message but it said if I did not follow directions they would make my,life pure hell and wanted me to send 2000 bitcoin. That was all I read of it but it did shake me up and it was very threatening. If had any porn in message I did not notice as did not read all of message. My camera is covered and don't visit porn sites.

I received there same one today asking for 2K to a Bitcoin site from Dacia Sommerfeld zrpstoddardzih@ Threatening to send to 4 facebook friend and my contact list

Anything happen? I received text. U?

I received this in a text message. I reported it to the FTC, the FBI and local police.

I received the same letter three different dates with my two emails! They are all coming form a micro software account! Reported it on FBI cite, IC3 complain center! They are so desperate to see who of us seniors will do what they want! I'm 71 and never even been in a porn site & don't have a camera! They are desperate to get our retirement money we worked so hard to live off! All I say, God have mercy on their lying souls!

I got the same email twice in the last week and would like to report it. The tone is very threatening, however since I don’t do any of the things I’m accused of I’m not worried. What they claim is my password is an old phone number not in use. I’d just like to report this so they can maybe stop this from happening to someone more vulnerable


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