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 received the very same email this morning. Had one of my passwords along with the email regarding porn site and webcam video of me, said they got all of my FB contacts, etc and would send them all this video of me. Asking for $9,000 via Bitcoin in 24 hours. I surely know this is NOT me. I am going to forward email to authorities as well. Don't these people have better things to do????

I got an email giving one of my logins information. They said that they had a record of different web sites I visited and took over my camera and have video of me as well. They said I could either ignore the message and they would send out the information to all of my contacts or send them $6000 using bitcoin within 1 day. I kept the email, notified the FTC and am going to contact my local FBI office. It is unnerving but listening to the FTC agent I spoke with and reading these accounts gives “some” comfort. Thank you all!

I received exact same email. Same $ amount and wording , e-mail was Aaron Smith 931 edu

Use the link in this blog to report to the FBI at www.fbi.gov/contact-us.

Same here, i received the threat feom same person and same day. 10/28 . They had a very old password in the subject line. Since i use two step verifications, I ignored and deleted.

The FTC needs to create a complaint category for this particular e-crime. Going to "Other" and "no match found" didn't help, because the questions are irrelevant. There is no one company or individual sending them. There is no porn attached, but a threat to reveal porn sites I've allegedly visited (not!) or to publish compromising photos of me (doing what? hoarding chocolate?)

I am sick of getting these insulting and threatening emails (three in the last few weeks). Even though they have nothing on me, these extortionists need to be brought to justice.

There is something seriously wrong with a world where a dairy farmer can be busted for selling raw milk to a willing adult, but blackmailers are free to conduct their "business" with impunity!

Use the link in this blog to report to the FBI at www.fbi.gov/contact-us.

Hi, I too am a woman and have in the last week received two of similar emails. I immediately changed passwords etc and deleted the email and I don't live in the USA. Hope that something is done to sort this out

I received this letter this morning and have reported it to the FBI. I looked through my junk mail and found 6 more dating back to 9/14 that didn't get through to my inbox. Not sure how this one got through.

Just received a similar email speaking of supposed captured video of me watching porn and threats to send it to all my contacts unless $3000 is sent to a bitcoin address.

Can confirm (as found by IT Professional | August 22, 2018 above) that the password they displayed to me was a very old LinkedIn password. (I never used LinkedIn since registering) I guess from the 2012 data breach.

This sort of process is possible due to an ability of the criminal to get anonymously paid using Bitcoin protocol. I find it difficult to understand why all branches of the US Government have taken a laissez-faire approach to fight untraceable cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, instead of issuing a full ban. Today, someone sent me an outdated password as "proof" that my computer is hacked, tomorrow someone will hack a local hospital with ransomware and demand an actionable sum in exchange for records. Unless the FBI and the FTC take this issue seriously, legitimate businesses and citizens will end up buying Bitcoin to get their data back. Why are we still being subjected to this trash only because someone had decided that cryptocurrency is a legitimate process? Think about this FTC - by failing to place a full ban on Bitcoin in the United States you are not only facilitating money laundering operations, you are placing the entire financial market at risk. Act now, legally, because there are also illegal ways to kill Bitcoin.

have received several emails of the blackmail attempts requesting bitcoin. The first had a password that I had used. Later I got an email from my email with the password. All claimed it had infected my computer, copied all my contacts, and activated my camera on my computer while I was on a porn site to record my actions. Copied all the emails to spam@uce.gov and also created an account on bitcoinwhoswho.com so I could report the fraudulent of the bitcoin address used to demand the money. My email provider noted to me that the address that showed as mine was spoofed, even thoug they did have my email's correct password.

I had the same issues received several emails. I didn’t pay. What should I do

I received this today: (I have never visited porn sites, so I doubt whether they are really monitoring my activities.)

Hello nicolene@

My nickname in darknet is demetre97.
I'll begin by saying that I hacked this mailbox (please look on 'from' in your header) more than six months ago,
through it I infected your operating system with a virus (trojan) created by me and have been monitoring you for a long time.

Even if you changed the password after that - it does not matter, my virus intercepted all the caching data on your computer
and automatically saved access for me.

I have access to all your accounts, social networks, email, browsing history.
Accordingly, I have the data of all your contacts, files from your computer, photos and videos.

I was most struck by the intimate content sites that you occasionally visit.
You have a very wild imagination, I tell you!

During your pastime and entertainment there, I took screenshot through the camera of your device, synchronizing with what you are watching.
Oh my god! You are so funny and excited!

I think that you do not want all your contacts to get these files, right?
If you are of the same opinion, then I think that $500 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created.

Send the above amount on my bitcoin wallet: 1MN7A7QqQaAVoxV4zdjdrnEHXmjhzcQ4Bq
As soon as the above amount is received, I guarantee that the data will be deleted, I do not need it.

Otherwise, these files and history of visiting sites will get all your contacts from your device.
Also, I'll send to everyone your contact access to your email and access logs, I have carefully saved it!

Since reading this letter you have 48 hours!
After your reading this message, I'll receive an automatic notification that you have seen the letter.

I hope I taught you a good lesson.
Do not be so nonchalant, please visit only to proven resources, and don't enter your passwords anywhere!
Good luck!

I got the exact same email, only it was from hansiain16. Otherwise the wording is exact.

I got the exact same email today sent to me from what appeared to be my own email address. I quickly changed my password. However as it was sent straight to my spam folder I'm guessing its just a clever phishing email disguised as my own email address.

I got the exact email Oct 18 2018.

Got the exact message yesterday, sent it to FTC.

Got this today using my email address - on a bit more investigation the actual sending address is:
user@ ec2-3-0-116-8. ap-southeast-1. compute. amazonaws. com I have contacted abuse@ amazonaws. com and got a reporter no. Wait to see how this unfolds....

You can help law enforcement. Report to the FBI at www.FBI.gov/contact-us.

I also received this identical email, glad it isn’t just me!

I received almost word for word same email only things changed is DarknetDes56 and amount of money and bitcoin account.

I received an extortion email, obviously (from the wording) received from the very same person. The same person indicated he had gone into my files and deleted some of them. Which indeed had happened. The files were deleted or reduced to gibberish. He used a password that appears to have been used on a site I accessed. I don't really care if he tells everyone on the planet that I visited the site, but I don't want him hacking into my computer and deleting files. I updated my virus and malware software. He said he'd left a back door to get back into the computer, but that is probably BS. He undoubtedly got the password through a hacking or a security breach. What bothers me is that he went in and deleted or wrecked files, but remained silent then for a long period. Was he probably looking for material to use for the blackmail attempt?

I've got nearly the exact same message. End of october 2018 Something needs to be done about these hackers.

I get it 16th of November 2018 its true that this person can delate some of my dokuments?

I received one yesterday on my work email in Zambia and so did a couple of colleagues at work. I immediately contacted our IT dept and they blocked the sender and sent word to all staff. It was obviously distressing as I initially thought I was being stalked especially as I’m a woman.

I got this email today and am a female and I never went to any adult sights.

These scams are just the latest in a long list. Just ignore them. Various big websites have been hacked in the past, and that login data can be purchased online. What this scum does is simply buy that data, and then spam generic emails to everyone on that list in the hopes that some will pay them. But besides the login data they purchased, you'll notice they can't actually offer you anything specific. If they had something on you, don't you think they would start with that to get your attention? Don't fall for it. And don't let scum like this tarnish blockchain or cryptocurrency technologies, which are well worth looking into.

I received the same email asking for $7000 today.

I had a similar scam email. I don't even own a webcam and I went to a proxy email and was gonna respond to the scammer to scare him/her saying my friends and associates are aware that if the scammer does this move they will come to his house and break his legs and smash his computer. And I told the scammer I know who he is. Email got an error saying it could not be delivered. Is a fake email addy.

Received the same email yesterday in Canada to an @..... .ca account. They had my Facebook login email address and recent Facebook password. Luckily the email account has a different password. Changed Facebook password again just to make sure.

I received the same threats today "Ontario" Scary people.

I received the same type of email today: Hello!
My nickname in darknet is bartlet56. I hacked this mailbox more than six months ago, through it I infected your operating system with a virus (trojan) created by me and have been monitoring you for a long time. Even if you changed the password after that - it does not matter, my virus intercepted all the caching data on your computer and automatically saved access for me. I have access to all your accounts, social networks, email, browsing history. Accordingly, I have the data of all your contacts, files from your computer, photos and videos. I was most struck by the intimate content sites that you occasionally visit. You have a very wild imagination, I tell you! During your pastime and entertainment there, I took screenshot through the camera of your device, synchronizing with what you are watching. Oh my god! You are so funny and excited! I think that you do not want all your contacts to get these files, right? If you are of the same opinion, then I think that $861 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created. Send the above amount on my BTC wallet bitcoin): 1EZS92K4xJbymDLwG4F7PNF5idPE62e9XY As soon as the above amount is received, I guarantee that the data will be deleted, I do not need it. Otherwise, these files and history of visiting sites will get all your contacts from your device. Also, I'll send to everyone your contact access to your email and access logs, I have carefully saved it! Since reading this letter you have 48 hours!
After your reading this message, I'll receive an automatic notification that you have seen the letter. I hope I taught you a good lesson. Do not be so nonchalant, please visit only to proven resources, and don't enter your passwords anywhere! Good luck!

LPC:
I got the same message today! Minus the username; that was different.

I received that same email yesterday, but with a different user name des53 demanding bit coin as well!

I got an email from this same username (des53) today

I've got email from des53 on October,24th 2018 too.

What did you do after reading that letter?

You can use the link in this blog to report to the FBI at www.FBI.gov/contact-us.

Today I received the same type of E-mail. It was sent to my spam box but not to the sent box . In the heading it had my e- mail address along with my password. Essentially, they were wanting - $900 in bit coin within 48 hours. I then checked my internet security to see if my hacking protection was activated and it was. There were no threats found. I do not do any on -line banking or buy from Amazon. I think it is a sham trying to scare people. When I first got my computer, I put tape over the camera because just so hackers wouldn't be able to watch my every move .I don't watch porn or anything offensive, so it would be rather dull.

I got exactly the same email with the same Bitcoin number. Glad to hear this isnt a real threat - sounds more like phishing to me...

I got the same message twice this week. My nickname is darknet. Etc. second email was asking for for less money.

As worrying as it is seeing my actual password, I strongly believe this is ALL they have, grabbed from some other hack someplace else in the past, or bought from some list somewhere. Imagine if they really had the power they say they have, able to "look" at your entire computer and follow every key stroke... I'm pretty sure these "oh-so-clever" hackers would simply log in to my bank account or PayPal account (and multiple other victims' accounts at the same time, in one concerted effort) and easily forward all the money there to their own account, then make off into the sunset. Far easier than asking for random arbitrary amounts via bitcoin.

I received the same message. The problem is they were able to get one of my previous passwords. I think they are using the info from an earlier big data breach. Anyone from Canada?

I received the same email today. Yes, they had an old password that I used for a Cineplex Odeon account to buy on line tickets. Did you buy tickets recently as well? I'm in Toronto.

I got the exact same thing today and honestly, it sent me nuts. The email address they used was MY email address?!?! The password they mentioned wasn’t the password to my account, but it has relevance to my life; it’s a nickname for a friend. I’m really and truly freaked out. Contacting Microsoft tomorrow and then the police if I feel the need. I’m sure it’s all a scam, but it’s bad.

I received this same email and was most concerned that the email was from ME. It was in my Sent folder (as well as my spam folder). I contacted my email provider and they said that someone logged into my email account with my credentials and sent the email. I was hoping that it was truly a spam email but now I have been told that I was indeed hacked. I am following this thread wondering if everyone also sees their own email address in the From field and if the email also appears in their Sent folder. The password that was mentioned in the email was an old one, but I now feel like they had the current password as well :(

Me too got similar email, from My own address and addressed to myself. I didn't bother as I knew that I have set-up Two Factor Authentication (Google Authenticator) with my email host. That means, even if I have to login to my email from another computer, I can't do it just with my username and password, it must be authenticated with google authenticator. Of course you have to worry, if you found the same email in your sent box, that's shows your email was hacked. Best change your password and enable Two Factor Authentication if your email service provider have the feature.

Omg.... I am glad it is not just me I had two of these emails this morning! One saying from fransisco73 asking for $891 and one from fitzgerald59 asking for $879.... said I had 48hours to respond and to pay that amount into their bitcoin wallet! Needless to say I will be reporting this to the police!

Got the same too on friday oct. 19.

To anyone’s knowledge, has the criminal followed up on the threats?

I am also a victim of a letter mailed to my home address. I paid $7400 in bitcoin hoping that this would go away – and now they are demanding $1000 a month.

I have done things that I am not proud of but since reconciled with my wife. I was desperate for her not to see these details and that’s why I paid. I had not come across this site until now and will report

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