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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 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.

it is a scam i just got one and it told me i go on porn and that i take screenshots but i never did any of this and also i have 3 layers of black duck tape on my laptop and thay also state that thay have evrything on ther laptop wich is not true as a laptop can never store that much memory on up to 3 laptops so it is a scam do not give them money if thay say that you went on anything wird and thay state it like this "i was going to do somethig befor but you are a dirty kid (i hope you know what im talking about) " the funny thing is i am 30 and i am not a kid so you should delete all ur contacts and get rid of ur email and get a new one so as long as they do not specify directly what you did than its a scam

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

Same with me. I fell for the scam and paid like $8500 to make it all go away. I’m not proud of what I did or claiming innocence. I made mistakes but feel like I’ve been accountable for them. They came back demanding $1000 a month just recently. After I ignored that letter they came back with another much more aggressive / well written letter. It demanded another $8500 if I didn’t pay within a few days. Claiming everything would be released to the public about how I paid to keep things secret. That they would blast to the press and friends and family etc. I don’t know what to do. I’m honestly scared. I’ve made mistakes. And feel incredibly stupid. But I don’t want my life to blow up. Does anyone know anything more? Any help would be appreciated. I feel alone. Embarrassed. Ashamed. Sick to my stomach. Regretful. Sorry. Confused. Like I said any advice would be appreciated.

Foolish...very sorry to read your posting....what was the outcome? Did they follow through?

I got the same email yesterday - sent cold shivers down my spine -even though my browsing history would bore most people senseless !! Scary and nasty

I have also received the same email

I've received a similar threat except the username and amount was different but otherwise it was very similar to other examples here

I just got this. I am a female and have nothing to hide. What concerns me is that they claimed to have the password for my email account and actually provided me the email i was using last year - it was correct! i changed it a long time ago, but freaks me out a bit that they had my old password... how on earth did they get that?

Hi
I GOT the same email on 19 and 20 by two different people asking for different amounts. I live in the UK they be getting nothing I looked at software downloaded on my laptop driver booster 6 has anyone else downloaded this free driver software as it may be the source of the problem.

Men/Women are a victim of this scam.
My LinkedIn Account was hacked. They emailed me about porn, webcam videos and sending to ALL my contacts. I was to give them 3000 through Bitcoin. And, that reporting it to the police would do no good, etc.

You can report to the FBI at www.FBI.gov/contact-us.

I received exactly the same - I am in the north east of England. Is this email targeting multiple countries?

It's interesting i do the reverse, i will never let someone hold me hostage and extort money. You pay, they will be back for more money. I had to hold myself back from telling him off, because i was wanting blood.

I just got this from my own email address. They are getting clever.

Hello!
I'm a hacker who cracked your email and device a few months ago. You entered a password on one of the sites you visited, and I intercepted it. This is your password from (MY EMAIL) on moment of hack: ***** Of course you can will change it, or already changed it. But it doesn't matter, my malware updated it every time. Do not try to contact me or find me, it is impossible, since I sent you an email from your account. Through your email, I uploaded malicious code to your Operation System. I saved all of your contacts with friends, colleagues, relatives and a complete history of visits to the Internet resources. Also I installed a Trojan on your device and long tome spying for you.
You are not my only victim, I usually lock computers and ask for a ransom. But I was struck by the sites of intimate content that you often visit. I am in shock of your fantasies! I've never seen anything like this! So, when you had fun on piquant sites (you know what I mean!) I made screenshot with using my program from your camera of yours device. After that, I combined them to the content of the currently viewed site. There will be laughter when I send these photos to your contacts! BUT I'm sure you don't want it. Therefore, I expect payment from you for my silence. I think $808 is an acceptable price for it! Pay with Bitcoin.
My BTC wallet: 1JTtwbvmM7ymByxPYCByVYCwasjH49J3Vj
If you do not know how to do this - enter into Google "how to transfer money to a bitcoin wallet". It is not difficult. After receiving the specified amount, all your data will be immediately destroyed automatically. My virus will also remove itself from your operating system. My Trojan have auto alert, after this email is read, I will be know it! I give you 2 days (48 hours) to make a payment. If this does not happen - all your contacts will get crazy shots from your dark secret life! And so that you do not obstruct, your device will be blocked (also after 48 hours) Do not be silly!
Police or friends won't help you for sure ... p.s. I can give you advice for the future. Do not enter your passwords on unsafe sites. I hope for your prudence. Farewell.

I got the exact same email. 3 in the last few days all spoofed as my own email account, the first 2 had Passwords, they got from a data breech, though I don't remember what they were for, the last one didn't have a password, so I guess they ran out

I had the exact same email today, filtered in to my spam folder. The wording was the same from start to finish, with the difference obviously being the email address and password.

It is a very old password for me, maybe 2 years old, and I have changed computers since then. The username on the top of the email is also nothing to do with this email account. Also, they say they sent it from my email account, but my spam filter must have been too good for their email spoofing, because it has a different address.

I don't have a webcam, and if you notice, there are really no details in the email linking it to you other than the email address/password. Nothing to jump out and say "look at this proof of your online activities".

I run virus/malware scans often, and nothing has been found. This is 100% a phishing scam email. Do not send any money, and do not reply from your email account. Set up a fake account if you feel the need to reply. If you pay, they will ask for more. If you reply, they will know your email account is active and target you more. I wouldn't even bother reporting it to police since it will go nowhere.

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

Account with etisalat in the UAE .. have contacted them but : No response, of course they don t want their customers to realise that they must have been hacked otherwise where would the e mail account come from ?
quote Hello!
My nickname in darknet is des53. 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 adult 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 were 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 $900 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created. Send the above amount to my Bitcoin wallet: 3APG4y9zzbMGboC4yy9aCpSm2TTiErUmbE 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, which I have carefully saved. 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. Visit safe websites only, and don't enter your passwords anywhere! Good luck!
Unquote

Glad that I'm not the only one too! I was very anxious and I stayed up all night trying to crack down on how was this possible to even planning to call my local police, and I'm from across the world (Oceania region). It scared me mosy when I couldn't trace who had logged into my account as they used my login to send an email to my own inbox. They showed my old password too and also the darknet username was different. I deactivated everything I used on the Internet including social media. I didn't want to take any risks because if my data is jeopardize so would my partner's data.

I also received nearly the same one on 10/23/18. Here is the text of the email I received:
Hello!
My nickname in darknet is des53. 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 adult 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 were 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 $900 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created. Send the above amount to my Bitcoin wallet: 36rqooMQkWhQCyhFufDLBjLarLsbf8CNjH 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, which I have carefully saved. 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. Visit safe websites only, and don't enter your passwords anywhere! Good luck!

I got the exact same one! Did anything happen?

Got similar email,out here in South Africa
Must have been spoofed cos it came from myself,however while checking on the email details,it was sent from a location 2hours ahead, thinking could be Dubai

I received a message from darknet username des53 using my email address. I checked my sent folder and showed nothing sending myself that email. As a precaution, I sent myself an email, and the email I sent was in my "sent" folder, but not the scammer's. Going to my local police to report this.

A very similar e-mail to an e-mail accont of my Japanese ISP.
So the target is far and wide.

Here is mine I was sent. Same thing, but no personal passwords were exposed. Just that the email was supposedly sent from my own account...

Hello! I'm a hacker who cracked your email and device a few months ago. You entered a password on one of the sites you visited, and I intercepted it. Of course you can will change it, or already changed it. But it doesn't matter, my malware updated it every time. Do not try to contact me or find me, it is impossible, since I sent you an email from your account. Through your email, I uploaded malicious code to your operation System. I saved all of your contacts with friends, colleagues, relatives and a complete history of visits to the internet resources. Also I installed a Trojan on your device and long tome spying for you. You are not my only victim, I usually lock computers and ask for a ransom. But I was struck by the sites of intimate content that you often visit. I am in shock of your fantasies! I've never seen anything like this! So, when you had fun on piquant sites (you know what I mean!) I made screenshot with using my program from your camera of yours device. After that, I combined them to the content of the currently viewed site. There will be laughter when I send these photos to your contacts! BUT I'm sure you don't want it. Therefore, I expect payment from you for my silence. I think $881 is an acceptable price for it! Pay with Bitcoin. My BTC wallet: 1DVU5Q2HQ4srFNSSaWBrVNMtL4pvBkfP5w If you do not know how to do this - enter into Google "how to transfer money to a bitcoin wallet". It is not difficult. After receiving the specified amount, all your data will be immediately destroyed automatically. My virus will also remove itself from your operating system. My Trojan have auto alert, after this email is read, I will be know it! I give you 2 days (48 hours) to make a payment. If this does not happen - all your contacts will get crazy shots from your dark secret life! And so that you do not obstruct, your device will be blocked (also after 48 hours) Do not be silly!
Police or friends won't help you for sure ... p.s. I can give you advice for the future. Do not enter your passwords on unsafe sites. I hope for your prudence. Farewell.

I feel loads and loads better now after seeing your post... I got (practically word-for-word) the exact email you received. Identical. I have a few buddies or are deep into the tech world (some even have some experiences with hacking) and both of which said it's a scam to bait a reply.
I obviously didn't reply to the email, but was very worried and creeped out. Seeing your message and realizing it's the exact email I received makes me feel much more at ease. The internet is a scary place.

I have gotten this same email about a month ago. Today I got another one just like yours. They have given me 50 hours to come up with certain amount. I have already blocked all my ports for any outside remote control. I have ran scans which have picked up nothing. The emails comes from my email address which I am not sure how they do that. I do not click on any thing they have pointed out to do so. Also to pay them in Bitcoin. Another scam that people are pulling just because they can get away with it. First it was phone now internet.

I received one of these email last Tuesday November 13 but just opened it today as it was in my SPAM folder. The wording was the same but now the person is a PROGRAMMER not a HACKER in my email

Hello!

I'm a programmer who cracked your email account and device about half year ago.
You entered a password on one of the insecure site you visited, and I catched it.

Of course you can will change your password, or already made it.
But it doesn't matter, my rat software update it every time.

Please don't try to contact me or find me, it is impossible, since I sent you an email from your email account.

Through your e-mail, I uploaded malicious code to your Operation System.
I saved all of your contacts with friends, colleagues, relatives and a complete history of visits to the Internet resources.
Also I installed a rat software on your device and long tome spying for you.

You are not my only victim, I usually lock devices and ask for a ransom.
But I was struck by the sites of intimate content that you very often visit.

I am in shock of your reach fantasies! Wow! I've never seen anything like this!
I did not even know that SUCH content could be so exciting!

So, when you had fun on intime sites (you know what I mean!)
I made screenshot with using my program from your camera of yours device.
After that, I jointed them to the content of the currently viewed site.

Will be funny when I send these photos to your contacts! And if your relatives see it?
BUT I'm sure you don't want it. I definitely would not want to ...

I will not do this if you pay me a little amount.
I think $869 is a nice price for it!

I accept only Bitcoins.
My BTC wallet: 1M2D1PzyyiZBrSh8qcdts5kecQAX3S9xuF

If you have difficulty with this - Ask Google "how to make a payment on a bitcoin wallet". It's easy.
After receiving the above amount, all your data will be immediately removed automatically.
My virus will also will be destroy itself from your operating system.

My Trojan have auto alert, after this email is looked, I will be know it!

You have 2 days (48 hours) for make a payment.
If this does not happen - all your contacts will get crazy shots with your dirty life!
And so that you do not obstruct me, your device will be locked (also after 48 hours)

Do not take this frivolously! This is the last warning!
Various security services or antiviruses won't help you for sure (I have already collected all your data).

Here are the recommendations of a professional:
Antiviruses do not help against modern malicious code. Just do not enter your passwords on unsafe sites!

I hope you will be prudent.
Bye.

I also received this email in my google mail spam folder with the exact same verbage as mentioned above in other posts. After running malwarebytes to confirm no infection is evident, I did a search on google to find this informative blog/posts. I ascertained that this is nothing more than a blackmail attempt by some "myopic miscreant loser" and no further wasted time on my part is necessary. This did however, prompt me to change my passwords on some of my accounts to circumvent any possible future "attacks" from "bottom feeding scum" out there. I recommend doing the same for piece of mind.

Except, if it had some key logger, or something, then changing your pwd may be just what they want

i got this yesterday:

Hello! My nickname in darknet is chrisy22.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. So, your password from %0% is xxxxxxx known by me alone 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 $838 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created. Send the above amount on my BTC wallet (bitcoin): 1BqDEC1FGoePLCPVsVMK2bKFUkpbZ6euV2
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 too received this today as well, same message, same user. I don't know what to do. It's very unnerving and scarey.

also text from +1 267-507-5358.
which is belong to PA, USA.

Out here in the USA Midwest, just got the email earlier today
"
Hello! My nickname in darknet is des53. 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 adult 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 were 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 $900 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created. Send the above amount to my Bitcoin wallet: 3HNFAdL4euhEHG9t4QMQmk25QcKAKhzuaA 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, which I have carefully saved. 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. Visit safe websites only, and don't enter your passwords any where! Good luck! "

Same issue with an email I previously used sending me the email. No mention of an old password though.
Has anyone taken drastic actions, has anyone been affected? If so please reply, I feel its just a spam but there is always the need for precaution

Received the same thing. I'm calling BS on it. Mine was with an old password that I've never used for my email. Pretty sure some website got breached and they just go through that website. Also, the email went to my junk mail. When you send yourself an email, it doesn't go to junk. This means that the person just spoofed their email as yours.

Got the same thing with a real but old password. Did virus scan and found nothing. As others have mentioned, guessing they got the password from yahoo breach. Just make sure you aren't using that password anywhere anymore is my advice.

Hello! I'm a hacker who cracked your email and device a few months ago. You entered a password on one of the sites you visited, and I intercepted it. Of course you can will change it, or already changed it. But it doesn't matter, my malware updated it every time. Do not try to contact me or find me, it is impossible, since I sent you an email from your account. Through your email, I uploaded malicious code to your operation System. I saved all of your contacts with friends, colleagues, relatives and a complete history of visits to the internet resources. Also I installed a Trojan on your device and long tome spying for you. You are not my only victim, I usually lock computers and ask for a ransom. But I was struck by the sites of intimate content that you often visit. I am in shock of your fantasies! I've never seen anything like this! So, when you had fun on piquant sites (you know what I mean!) I made screenshot with using my program from your camera of yours device. After that, I combined them to the content of the currently viewed site. There will be laughter when I send these photos to your contacts! BUT I'm sure you don't want it. Therefore, I expect payment from you for my silence. I think $881 is an acceptable price for it! Pay with Bitcoin. My BTC wallet: 1DVU5Q2HQ4srFNSSaWBrVNMtL4pvBkfP5w If you do not know how to do this - enter into Google "how to transfer money to a bitcoin wallet". It is not difficult. After receiving the specified amount, all your data will be immediately destroyed automatically. My virus will also remove itself from your operating system. My Trojan have auto alert, after this email is read, I will be know it! I give you 2 days (48 hours) to make a payment. If this does not happen - all your contacts will get crazy shots from your dark secret life! And so that you do not obstruct, your device will be blocked (also after 48 hours) Do not be silly!

I received the same email today. I’m furious. Am looking into how to report this.

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

I received the same email with one of the passwords I use. I’ve made the mistake of using this same email/password combo on other sites, so I don’t know where the data breach occurred. After getting this email I’ve since made sure that each site/provider has a unique password. Yea, I loose the convince of not having to look up my password but I’ll benefit by knowing where they got it. I’m sure the folks investigating these attacks would benefit too.

Got the similar email, but not too concerned, false mentions I don't visit porn sites and don't even have a webcam ,, smh , sometimes you gotta pray for folks,,,

I received a similar email today

It's nice that the (so-called) FTC has info here to confirm this scam is happening to thousands....but it does no good to forward the email to FTC because they won't do anything. My taxes are probably paying for someone to sit all day and read these comments.

You can help law enforcement. Use the link in the blog and report a bitcoin scam email to the FBI at www.FBI.gov/contact-us.

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