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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

This is the email I received. Can this actually be done?

Hello!

As you may have noticed, I sent you an email from your account.
This means that I have full access to your account.

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 $511 to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how to do this, write to Google: “Buy Bitcoin”).

My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is: 18eBGkYam1wjz1S77jz3VmADuYYFzhA3vB

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!

I received an email yesterday that went directly to my junk box. It is from MY main email address sent to the same address. Example <blahblah @ comcast.net> to <blahblah @ comcast.net They begin by saying they have access to my computer through a porn website I visited (I haven’t), they have had control of my computer and have been watching me. Also don’t try to report this since the email was sent from my email address so there’s no way to track them. If I didn’t get $522 into his/her bitcoin account within 48hrs., they will send to everyone in my contacts a video of myself in a compromising act on one side of the screen and the porn I was watching at the time on the other side. If I show this to anyone they will know and send out the damaging video immediately.
I knew immediately it is a scam, but they used my real email which is unsettling. I’m glad I found this conversation as I didn’t know who/where to report this to. Thanks for the good information shared here!

Hit me twice with the scam, didn't pay first time, the email address they used is netscape.net. well that alone tells me the data is likely 10 yrs old. Password was one I used back then on numerous sites. but for the life of me I certainly cannot remember any of the sites I used - dating or otherwise. I'm 60 so like others feel - spread it far and wide LOL . just received a followup the other day. Forwarded that one to the FBI still not getting any btc from me LOL Joke is SOO ON THEM

I received a similar email to an older account that I no longer use. Threatened to 'expose' me for watching porn. Had an old password, and the sender had spoofed the 'From' address to appear like it was sent from the same account that it was being sent to. The IP address traces to Zimbabwe but it could very well have been routed through a VPN. The one thing that immediately made me aware that it was all nonsense was the fact that the blackmailer claimed to have turned on my cam and had footage of my screen as well as video images of me. He obviously doesn't know that I use a desktop that doesn't have a cam installed.

mine seemed to be result from marriott breach. have not used the password in ages. saved a copy of email to report to ftc

So comforting to see so many people with the same issue!
And for those who pasted text that identically matched up, confirming it was this scam! So they for sure don't have anything?

This person was claiming to send an email from my address as well, though it was flagged as spam and not saved in my "Sent" folder. No clue how they would have gotten that address from my phone, either, which is where they would have gotten access like they'd alleged, but the "If you want to get proof, answer "Yes!" and resend this letter to youself.
And I will definitely send your video to your any 16 contacts."
Was interesting, since depending on the app, I have either 14 or 18 contacts, nowhere could I find 16.

Just for note, here's my email in entirety. Sorry it's long, but this might help others looking for key-phrases. Note, I didn't get a password!

I hacked your device, because I sent you this message from your account. If you have already changed your password, my malware will be intercepts it every time. You may not know me, and you are most likely wondering why you are receiving this email, right? In fact, I posted a malicious program on adults (pornography) of some websites, and you know that you visited these websites to enjoy (you know what I mean). While you were watching video clips, my trojan started working as a RDP (remote desktop) with a keylogger that gave me access to your screen as well as a webcam.
Immediately after this, my program gathered all your contacts from messenger, social networks, and also by e-mail. What I've done? I made a double screen video. The first part shows the video you watched (you have good taste, yes ... but strange for me and other normal people), and the second part shows the recording of your webcam. What should you do? Well, I think $633 (USD dollars) is a fair price for our little secret. You will make a bitcoin payment (if you don't know, look for "how to buy bitcoins" on Google). BTC Address: GjZSJnpU4A fTS8vmre6rx7eQgeMUq8VYr (This is CASE sensitive, please copy and paste it) Remarks: You have 2 days (48 hours) to pay. (I have a special code, and at the moment I know that you have read this email). If I don't get bitcoins, I will send your video to all your contacts, including family members, colleagues, etc.
However, if I am paid, I will immediately destroy the video, and my trojan will be destruct someself. If you want to get proof, answer "Yes!" and resend this letter to youself. And I will definitely send your video to your any 16 contacts. This is a non-negotiable offer, so please do not waste my personal and other people's time by replying to this email.

Got a similar email in my junk folder yesterday. Was a bit startled to see an old password in the text. Otherwise it had bogus scam written all over it. I am reassured by all the responses here that I have not been singled out by some creep and this is just yet another internet scam.

This is the scam email I received , scammer will not get a dime from me

Hello!

As you may have noticed, I sent you an email from your account.
This means that I have full access to your account.

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 $514 to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how to do this, write to Google: "Buy Bitcoin").

My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is: 1BPUUNghhuwQjDDvFd3TnJz2ato5dyDLr8

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!

Per chance, do all of you who have received this email scam play games on the EA website, specifically Pogo? I am quite sure that is where the scammer got my information since that is the only place I used the password the scammer referred to.

I'm getting numerous of these a day after I returned a new cell phone that the screen went bad on an Chinese sale on EBay. They are sent to all the emails that I had on the cell phone, I did change all my passwords before returning the phone for exchange. Then under their warranty they sent me 2 phones (one at a time) open boxed, neither would connect to Verizon towers. I demanded a refund, and I think that is what they did for my not taking a 3rd replacement phone. Anyway, copy all the Bitcoin addresses that are not the same and go to the Bitcoin.com website, and email all those Bitcoin account numbers and demand they put a stop to it. If we all are persistent and let Bitcoin know we do not appreciate their Scammer account...maybe they will actually do something about it.

HOW CAN I STOP ACCF FROM CONTACT MY HOME THY ARE CALLING MY PHONE NUMBER AND HANGING UP ON ME MY FAMILY MEMBERS THIS NUMBER BEEN CALLING MY NUMBER.
1-502-205-9627 MY PHONE NUMBER 606 599 9046 HOW CAN I STOP THESE PHONES NUMBER 502 205 9627 PEOPLE ARE CALLING ME AND HANGING UP

I got an email saying they have me on webcam watching porn sites. that was my flag- because I keep my webcam covered with a piece of paper and tape and do not go to porn sites BUT they did know my password and how many contacts I have. scary. I am changing my remail on all my sites

We get these at work all the time. I got one that had my email address with a password I have never used on my email account, so I knew it was bogus.

They get the passwords and your email from a data breach. They operate on the assumption that most people use the same password for everything, which often is a safe guess, right behind "password" as a password. By spoofing the address to make it look like it came from you, they can trick you into thinking they actually hacked your account.

I deal with phishing emails as a former IT Admin at my workplace (I'm still here, just no longer the only IT person), so this didn't fool me for one second. My wife and mother both know to ask either my uncle or me before acting on such phishing emails.

Did any of the hackers follow through with their threats? They threaten to e-mail my entire contact list

Problem I had was they used my email address and I am not sure if they hacked my email as my pwd was changed over a year ago , and they used the old one .

yeah, I have received several threats to have video "exposing" my viewing. Got my third one today. I do wonder how stuff is being "recorded" when I do not have a webcam.

Can anyone tell me if any of these hackers followed through wit their threats?

Noop (at least probably not).

Many indications that old passwords were collected from LinkIn breach (and other such sites) and contact email.

Don't pay, don't worry, report if you wish to LE, just delete and live.

If, they ever posted a web cam pic sample of you and your place, then you might reconsider. So far, no reports of this ever happening.

I just received this type of email tonight. But it was real threatening like all the other people said. I deleted it and in the process of changing my passwords. It had an old password I forgot about. But I knew it was a scam already. Just keep reporting these scam threatening e-mails to the FBI. It was in my spam folder.

I also got on a list when somebody stole an old password. Easiest way to prevent repeat emails, at least from the same sender, is to copy the long bitcoin account number, and then create an incoming email filter. Set up the filter so that if that bitcoin account number is in the email body, delete the message.

If you're on a list, you're likely to get other emails from different senders (with a different bitcoin account) from time to time, but it's pretty easy to setup a filter.

I've just received this kind of e-mail through my work e-mail and I don't have camera on my work PC. Thanks for the information.

The idiot sent this crap to my Government E-Mail account. The military has ways to track down whoever sends to a military account that gmail and yahoo don't. It has been reported.

Just wondering, if the govt can track yours why won't they get this stuff stopped? Any person, domestic or foreign which threatens the security of citizens of a sovereign nation is the responsibility of the govt to find, prosecute, punish. I have the same right to that as a govt employee. After all I am a financial investor in the govt. Taxes paid for services to be rendered. I

Thank you all for sharing your experiences about this scam. I was going through my junk mail (which i haven’t done in over a year) and had seen the same email others have received. Now honestly YES i do watch porn but I do to put me to sleep so quite frankly i watch it in the dark lol so whatever vid is there of me, you would be lucky to see my face haha! I have spent a good few hours changing my passwords on the most important sites ie internt banking, Facebook, email acc and anything work related. This is a very clever scam and I applaud you all for researching and sharing. This has put me at ease knowing its not as legit as I thought it was. I’m unsure wether to report it to the police as in the UK we don’t have the FBI or just go make a cuppa with crumpets lool

i have my webcam COVERED at all times and now i'm glad i do! I got a very similar email, claiming to having recorded me ... but alas i know that's not possible!
Anyways, it was very unnerving that he wrote to me with MY email in the FROM line. I hope that's not possible for him to do in the future because it's a business account!

To the people worried about hacking: You don't get it. The person sending the email has not hacked anything. They don't know your password, they are probably just sending you a list of commonly used passwords. They don't know you have used a porn site. They are just emailing everyone the same thing, hoping to get lucky.

I got a similar email today!

“Hi!

As you may have noticed, I sent you an email from your account.

This means that I have full access to your account: At the time of hacking your account(xxx) had this password: xxx

You can say: this is my, but old password!

Or: I can change my password at any time!

Of course! You will be right,

but the fact is that when you change the password, my malicious code every time saved a new one!

I've been watching you for a few months now.

But 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 from e-mail and messangers.

Why your antivirus did not detect my 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 $740 to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how to do this, write to Google: "Buy Bitcoin").

My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is: 15G9wyGRDssFXsfwEm1ihdJs2xabVPDu68

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.

Bye!”

Absolutely pathetic! Idiots need to find something better to do!

So has anyone actually been victimized by these threats? Or is it just a scam?

New variation that the person has been paid $1,000 to break my arm and another $1,000 upon completion of job and unless I give them $2,000 in bitcoin, they are going to show up at my house and carry thru on breaking my arm. Didint have house address of course, and good luck ever finding me at my house as I am never there except to sleep a few nights each week when I am not at my boyfriends.

I just got a VERY similar e-mail (discovered it last night in my junk mail folder) from "myself" also containing a password, just not the one for that account in question.... my question is where do I send the e-mail for the FBI, FTC, po-po, etc.. to get?

The funny part about all this script is it’s a ripoff of a fictional episode of Black Mirror. The likelihood that this person actually has said video footage is extremely low due to the high number of people they have sent this to and how long it’s been since these passwords were actually used. Not to mention the amount of storage it would take to not only store the recorded video but also rip the screen footage. I highly doubt it. The episode hadn’t even aired when these passwords were used on these alleged porn sites. And if this was an original idea why wait years to do this scam?

FAAAAAKE.

I’m going to take a chance and resume my usual trolling with these guys.

Just received another blackmail attempt to my work email however this time asking for Litecoin. Hackers can now apparently send from your email address as well as call from your phone number too??

I just received the porn version of this scam, but there's no mention of a password in either the subject or the body of the message.

Is it worth reporting at this point? It seems as if many others already have.

Who would we report it to? Do you have an email address. I would love to send mine to somebody that can catch some of these horrid spammers, hackers, robbers, etc.

I just got one of those blackmail emails. Very disturbing.

I'm getting crypto spam emails to my HP printer...I've received 2 in the past 24 hours, making it 3 total in the past week. Not sure how to stop this.

I just got an email similar to what BonT reported a few posts above.

The email mentions my webcam. Problem is, I don't own a webcam. The whole email is a lie.

I received the same spam, threatening to use my pastime of watching porn, if I don’t pay in bitcoin. What concerns me is that they have an old password. This site advises to inform local police and FBI, has anyone had any success reporting similar blackmail spam to the authorities.

Here is the email received today
Never try to contact me or alternatively find me, it's hopeless, because I sent you this message using YOUR hacked account.
I have started malware soft on the adult videos (porn) site and guess that you enjoyed this website to have some fun (you realize what I mean).
While you were keeping an eye on movies, your internet browser began functioning like a RDP (Remote Control) that have a keylogger which granted me authority to access your screen and camera.
Consequently, my programstoleall information.
You typed passwords on the online resources you visited, I already caught all of them.
Surely, you could possibly modify them, or have already changed them.
But it does not matter, my spyware renews needed data every time.
What did I do?
I made a backup of every your device. Of all files and personal contacts.
I got a dual-screen video. The 1st section presents the video you had been watching (you have a good taste, haha...), and the second part demonstrates the recording from your camera.
What must you do?
Clearly, in my opinion, 1000 USD is basically a realistic price for our very little secret. You'll make the deposit by bitcoins (if you don't understand this, go searching “how to buy bitcoin” in any search engine).
My bitcoin wallet address:
12YXRfYeszfDSTzc5zH7wBbHPWpJkeSD3p
(It is cAsE sensitive, so just copy and paste it).
Important:
You have only 48 hours to perform the payment. (I have an unique pixel to this letter, and right now I know that you've read this email).
To monitorthe reading of a messageand the actionsin it, I installeda Facebook pixel. Thanks to them. (Everything thatcan be usedfor the authorities may helpus.)

In case I do not get bitcoins, I will certainly offer your videofile to all your contacts, along with relatives, colleagues, and many more?

I am a female and I just lost over 10,000.00 in this scam I'm not sure what to do or how to go about filling a complaint. All o know is that I feel very dumb at this time. I'm seriously in alot of debt behind this. Feeling like i am about the have a nervous breakdown or heart attack. Please help me some directions, thank you in advance.

I received this type of e-mail twice. The first was to my personal e-mail and I was worried until I realized the only two computers that I have watched adult content on, do not have webcams. I just received another one on my work e-mail. I was worried at first because my work e-mail should not be out there. Glad I looked this up to ease my nerves. My e-mail was the I made a video of your face and then the website you were looking at, send me bitcoin or else, and that there is no sense trying to track me down because I sent it from your e-mail. Thanks everyone for the comments.

The email password that Mohamed Moore used in the subject line contained my first and last name with the password I set up using my work computer for an on-line account @ Sears. I haven't used this password or the on-line Sears account for the last several years. This Mohamed character threatened to release a porno video that he said I made, and if I didn't send him $976 through Bitcoin in the next day, he would release this video to 7 of my friends, my family members and coworkers.
The email was very poorly written and he claims that the email he sent cannot be traced to him, "so don't bother going to the cops." He told me to send $976 by using bitcoin BTC address:
1Y7gQ8MyTjKavtXjJWWMFCK6myMGWgo1Y
If I send the money he'll erase the video, and if I don't then he sends out the video and my life will be over and nothing but shame will follow me the rest of my days.
I filed a complaint with my local FBI internet crime complaint center. Save a copy of the email scam because you cannot attach a copy to the FBI's complaint form.
I checked out bitcoin's website but didn't find any place to register a complaint. With so many scammers using bitcoin to channel funds why would anyone trust this digital currency?
What's bitcoin doing to prevent the scammers from using their site to channel their fraudulent funds?

I also received that scam emil and I had to laugh because it said they had a webcam video of me which they linked to a porn site. Thing is...I don't have a web cam!
Jokes on them.

This scam is pathetic. I did a trace on the email, and it came from Mexico. It was not sent from my server, the scammer simply put my email address in the "from" line. When the details were put onscreen, the actual email address of the scammer wa plainly seen. When I went directly to my server, the scammer email had not been sent from it. A pathetically lame scam. Unfortunately, I'm sure some fell for it.

I've gotten these email too! How was this problem solved? do you still receive the emails

it's an old and tired scam, no one has a video of you and no one has hacked your system and accounts. passwords are old and probably available on the internet or were leaked a very long time ago. emails are most likely originated from Russia and the best action is just to ignore and delete them. i guaranty nothing will happen if you do that. Also don't reply to the email.
Finally, change your emails frequently and make them hard to guess, use long complicated passwords with numbers and signs and do not use one password for all the accounts you may have.
Good luck and do not worry !

I just got this same email everyone is talking about. Do I really have to report to PD? Also, if anything really does get out, I don't care....I am hoping to becoming rich and famous like Kim lol.

Just got this email in my spam this morning. Wouldn't have opened it but it had an old password listed which concerned me. I use a encrypted browser and have not been to any questionable sites in months but the fact that they had a password was what got me worried.

I reported it just the same and have read a few articles about it. I am in the process of changing my passwords and I am relieved that there is nothing to worry about.

Yep. Me too. Actually got my second one in about five weeks. The first time, I panicked, got stressed-out, got sick. Because the password was accurate. Logic would tell you that an effective blackmail would be to have screenshots, to refer to the website or sites by name, to provide as much specifics as possible to scare the bejesus out of you. But the old one and new one are rather vague. (Only the bitcoin amount is specific!) Glad I searched online for this the second time...

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