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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.

Tagged with: cryptocurrency, scam

Comments

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'.

i got one like this today, but on my work email. and the computer does not even have a web cam or microphone lol

My guess is, some large company got hacked by these thieves, they stole the usernames and passwords for thousands of innocent user accounts, and then they just spam these innocent people with these bitcoin threats via email. It's the only explanation as to how they are obtaining passwords.

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.

The email that I just received is very similarly worded. Freaks me out.

I got the exact same one frannygranny. I’ve had a sleepless night worrying about it, because they did have a password i used to use a lot. And they claimed they had a video of me watching porn, that they’d send to all my contacts. It was not an ideal way to spend my birthday, putting on this brave face, yet worrying that an email would make all my friends laugh at me. I eventually ended up at the same conclusion as you. So what?

I Literally got that same email today. It said it would release my webcam to all my contacts of me watching porn. It said send 988.00 in bitcoins to not be released. It's a scare tactic and scam. Seriously, don't stress it.

Did anyone report it ?

its under investigation on the price with me was 978 my serice provider is looking into it

So has anyone actually been targeted with the alleged threats for not paying?

I experienced the same thing as everyone else here -- Found the email in my spam folder. In y case, the old password was from Yahoo mail (about 20 years old). I recall a major breach of security at Yahoo a couple of years ago. I wonder if that is were the old passwords came from.

I think they took my old password from yahoo too.

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...

I am NOT the guy to sabotage. I got great knowledge so hire me asap and let's collaborate

P.s. ...get a load of this, the more I continuesly get attacked/bully etc., VALUE goes down. Its a long story/lesson to type right now but, the facts are there.. Just look at specific statistics since 2015, there's no need for stalking but more like pay me and lets get this show on the road..

Just received a letter in the mail demanding payment in botcoin, person whom sent it indicates he was doing a job in my hometown, much of the wording similar to other scams i have read about, again with the bitcoin account, why is it that bitcoin, being used by these scammers, cant shut these accounts down, how is it that a currency that is supposed to be the future of exchange allowing criminals such as these low life jerks to operate? This just gives bitcoin a very bad name and shows that its not ready for public use and as long as bitcoin exchanges allow this it casts a dark shadow on the value of its utility as a currency alternative. And where is the IRS on all this money exchanging? Illegal activities are still income that must be reported so there is both a criminal and a tax crime going on here.

I too am victim of this scam

Has anyone ever came across this...I met this guy online we chatted for a while then his only son supposedly passes away...he then ask me for money...so I sent him some but not much and of course was supposed to pay me back...then after a while I get a text from Heritage Bank saying that he left me his Father's inheritance money but I had to pay $ 25,100.00 in US funds which I never did...they sent his so called death certificate with the gentlemens picture on it...I have never seen a death certificate with the deceased picture on the top....and with very minimal description of his so called death...and once I paid this amount of money they would show me how to activate Bitcoin to access the money....

100% scam--guaranteed.

That's a romance scam. If you were to follow up on the guy's story, you'd find a LOT of inconsistencies. A friend of mine almost fell for this. He was older but also a widower (she was newly widowed and young). I told her it was a scam and sent her an article about this type of scam. She called his "place of work" and they'd never heard of the guy.

I just received a similar letter. If these losers spent as much time and effort on productive pursuits, they would be rich. I guess that's why they're losers.

I just received a letter in the mail stating that the sender had been doing work in my home town and he "stumbled across" my "misadventures while working a job around" my home town. The sender threatened to send his evidence to not only my wife but also all her "friends, family and to all your closest neighbors".
If the $9000 was not sent to the stated Bitcoin address within 10 days of the postmark.
Sorry for being Soo long winded but I thought that if you recognized some of the wording used in this letter, you could identify your letter as a common scam.

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