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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 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.

This happened to me today!!! What did you do?

it;s very disturbing this, i got the exact same email from a Yelena Silverman, first i thought it was junk but it recognised my password. anyone help? this is disturbing

We just got the same email today and it referenced my ATM pin. Otherwise nothing else they said they would spread was relevant.

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 !

No, don't even try to use a complicated password. It does no good. They just copy and paste it.

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...

I recently received a spam request for hundreds of dollars in bitcoin to be sent to a certain digital address. It threatened to reveal to a certain number of contacts some specific items that it was alleged that I had stored on my computer. There is no such thing, nor could there be. They also threatened to show pictures of me taken by my computer webcam. That's also not possible since the camera is always covered with a built in slide.

They hacked an old email address somehow. I could tell that the sender was from a foreign country due to the syntax and language used.

I ignored the message since it was a stupid threat and I don't know how to buy bitcoin in the first place.

if you receive such a message, make certain never to click on any links included nor to respond to it in any other manner.

And today another one. I do not visit adult sites, no question this is a scam. See the following mail:

Good Day!

I've been watching you for a few months now.
The reality is that you were infected with malware through an adult site that you visit.

If you are not familiar with this, I will explain.
Trojan Virus gives me full access and control over a pc or other device.
This means that I can see everything on your pc, turn on the camera and
microphone, but you do not know about it.

I also have access to all your contact list and all your correspondence.

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 $701 to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how to do
this, write to Google: "Buy Bitcoin").

My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is: 1ERsopTCRddsEvQYKRA7EDmDZyuM8xTL3S

After receiving the pay, I will delete the profs and you will never hear me again.
I give you 49 hours to pay.
I have a notice reading this letter, and the timer will work when you see this mail.

Filing a complaint somewhere does not make sense because this profile cannot be
tracked like my bitcoin address.
I do not make any mistakes.

If I find that you have shared this email with someone else, the profs will be
immediately distributed.

Best regards!

Instead of a password mine was the last 4 digits of my cell should i be worried

It is not even needed to have the password of the email address being used to send the email.

Anyone can send email in place of someone else, considering you did'nt set the appropriate dns setting for your domain.

In your DNS records you should check if you have something like this in the MX record : v=spf1 (or whatever...) blahblah ?all

Important part is "?all", or "+all" or just "all" or nothing at all... in this case you should replace it with "-all"

For more information check for dns mx record.

It is NOT a total guarantee that you'll not receive scam anymore, but it can help making it harder to to.

Hi
I started getting the similar email. If I don't pay $2000, they will send all my personal videos and pictures to all my contact. Somehow, hacker got control over my Samsung Android Phone camera as well and emails says what I was doing at any specific time.

Bitcoin Address:
35aFMFjwGmHETQiAcucC8mdXU9RtgJ4DwL

I am going to report to FBI as well.
Let me know if I need to do anything else.

I received an email in my company email but I am not a male. I have attempted to report with online IC3 site but not sure where or who else to report email. I went to the FBI site but was redirected to the IC3 site. Did not see how to report to FBI.
I was demaded: send 0.529274 BTC (2.000 US) to this Bitcoin address: 3KEXyfqgV8nvXAyvqwYTcEGgVT3hoFHGVM

They're using an email spoofer which masks their email by automatically inserting your email. In my case the password they provided was a 15 year old low-level one I used for general newspaper accounts and product warranty registrations, so they obviously hacked some business. What would be useful is if BitCoin provided some oversight to investigate and close accounts which are being used for felonious purposes. Use of federal communication lines for fraud and other criminal activities is itself a felony. If Bitcoin is a willing participant in a criminal enterprise which involves money, and it does nothing to correct the problem, then that inaction is evidence of mens rea and Bitcoin could be included in a federal RICO act complaint.

Bitcoin is not a company. There is nobody to act on behalf of bitcoin or be named in a complaint.

I received similar but added he/she had been watching for months. Again a video of me enjoying porn sites (I don't visit them but the number of spam emails is increasing) They had a picture that was on my iPhone when I make phone calls - it was only a few weeks old. Funny thing is that the picture was so my friends new who was calling. Very, very disturbing threats. I think it is time to end bitcoin or force a tracking code such as that on our currency.

I received the hacker email today and, as "in California" described, the hacker used an email spoofer which masks the hacker's email address by automatically inserting my email address making it appear as if the email was "From" me. Unlike some other folks commenting, the hacker didn't include any passwords in the body of the email. I strongly agree with "in California" that Bitcoin should get involved with this. They should either have a way for we recipients to forward these emails to them, or the FBI could be a middleman, gathering these emails from us and then working with Bitcoin to close the accounts, etc. The email I was sent is actually an image pasted into the body of the email -- I can't copy & paste the Bitcoin wallet number or any of the email text.
Thanks to everyone for commenting in detail.

Just reported to FBI with full header and bitcoin wallet.

I got this email today. It was in an image/text box in empty email, claiming that if I do not pay $1,000 in bitcoins, I they would email the video of me "watching porn" along with all my photos to all my family and coworkers. Weird since I have never watched adult contents in my lifetime, have never visited an adult site, and I DO NOT have a webcam, I am self employed so no coworkers and have few relatives only who are living very far away - no photos in that email account whatsoever. It was a shot in dark and they missed by a mile. I changed my passwords. I did not report it since I did not want to forward that email, just deleted it (I took a screen shot of it), but if anything happens in 48 hours where my deadline is up, I will report it to the FBI, police, my state's Justice Dept, and will go as far as I can to find that creep and bring him to justice, trial and as long sentence as possible for extortion. They found the creeps in India posing as IRS agents (got those calls too), I am sure they can find the extorting creep and I hope that he or she will rot in jail for the rest of his or her rotten life. It is ridiculous that the creeps don't like working hard but want to extort easy money from those that actually work hard for living; let's fill our jails to capacity with those lazy extorting creeps!

I received another letter from a scammer yesterday. That is the fourth one. The first three came from my email address and yesterday it came from my daughter’s address! Same threat about exposing me and to credit their bitcoin account.
I sent the information to a bitcoin representative to trace the account number. I have already received a reply from them asking for details.
It worried me as my daughters email was used. It also stated a very old password I used years ago.
The bitcoin account number is
1BkeR8mCBR88pkbmhYQkiFDbC3KsGzNB21

This was my third "blackmail" email over the last 6 months. They all come in on my business emails. This time it declares that I am being blackmailed by a CIA agent! Haha! Really? I've filed it with the FBI.

On 3/18/19 I received one of these emails.
It was sent to my work email address, a commonly used password from previous accounts, and my "System" user name which makes me believe they were indeed in my computer.
They used a Bitcoin send code which I assume will vary each time they send emails out so they might actually get paid.

I'm not gonna lie. I have visited Porn sites recently and likely got hacked through them. Dumb!

My question, is everything they say they can do like record me through webcam legit?

happened to me today. similar extortion threat, for 968USD. called police and FBI. Bitcoin account listed for payment is: 1MnEeqL4pzces9SSgRcDg9FVSJb5BHgMsV

I received the porn version in my spam today. They used my email to send me an email. I immediately recognised it to be a scam. I wish they would catch these people. Low life's. Will probably send to FBI .

Just got this email myself. Using my own email address as the sender.

This email account was recently hacked. Change your password immediately.
It said they would expose me and show me watching porn and the porn I was watching. I don't have a screen camera. They wanted 1000.00 in bitcoins in 48 hours. Poor grammar throughout the email. No password shown on this email.
The bitcoin address was 13GEiv1wF4753qj1bm1MmNMmNMiRGDLEueHX

Did anything happen after the 48hrs ?

I received the same extortion threat email today and it kind of disturbed me. I'm glad that I googled this. Thanks very much for the info!

I was sooo scared when I got the email mainly because it was sent from my own gmail account , and it said this:

Hello,

As you may have noticed, I sent this email from your email account (if you didn't see, check the from email id). In other words, I have full access to your email account.

I infected you with a malware a few months back when you visited an adult site, and since then, I have been observing your actions. The malware gave me full access and control over your system, meaning, I can see everything on your screen, turn on your camera or microphone, and you won't even notice about it. I also have access to all your contacts.

Why your antivirus did not detect malware? It's simple. My malware updates its signature every 10 minutes, and there is nothing your antivirus can do about it.

I made a video showing both you (through your webcam) and the video you were watching (on the screen) while satisfying yourself. With one click, I can send this video to all your contacts (email, social network, and messengers you use).

You can prevent me from doing this. To stop me, transfer $987 to my bitcoin address. If you do not know how to do this, Google - "Buy Bitcoin".

My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is : 1F2N2GMUQMd6i7RJTQkE6hUGukF5g2DJvX

After receiving the payment, I will delete the video, and you will never hear from me again. You have 48 hours to pay. Since I already have access to your system, I now know that you have read this email, so your countdown has begun.

Filing a complaint will not do any good because this email cannot be tracked. I have not made any mistakes.

If I find that you have shared this message with someone else, I will immediately send the video to all of your contacts.

Take care!

I am now aware that is a scam but have any of y’all been affected by the emails?

I also got an unsolicited email today claiming that my Wells Fargo account has been suspended. I have never had one. Email was from kinezarwin @ag bcommunication. com. There was an attachment, which I did not open. This company, according to the internet, is in Myanmar, where I have never been. I assume this is a scam; I will not open the attachment; nor will I reply.

the bitcoin address used in mine was: B‌T‌C‌ ad‌dre‌ss to send to: 1JgyQKZ5v66aybvAFq9iC8oUo6rgJqf6gH I already knew it was fake because I DID NOI SUCH THING! lol

On 30 March 2019, I received this email with an old pass word in the subject line. I usually tag my passwords with my age at the time, so the one they sent was from 11 years ago. Vague threats, etc.... I think this may have been from a LinkedIn security hack from 2014. The hackers held information (stupidly) to get the highest price, but after 4 years of bidding, most people have changed their password strategies (hopefully). I hope no one falls for this scam. There are so many different scams out there, from people pretending to be the IRS, or power companies threatening to cut power in 30 minutes if they're not paid, etc.... Usually the elderly are the victims. Life time hard-labor would be suitable punishment for these derelicts!

I have received multiple emails for the porn scam recently. Glad I found this site, was concerning they had old passwords. Has anyone ever had anything posted of themselves after ignoring these? I reported mine to the FBI thanks to the link I found in this thread.

damn, i got the same email threat, coincidentally few days ago facebook reported they lost million of its secure data

I got a mail too but dont what actions to they have hacked email address or what I m worried

Bitcoin address of similar attempted blackmail received today:
3PtXcoMRP9B9dh8mx9RA9wrqtqB5i98jVm

Hello,

I received an email yesterday saying that they have hacked my email and got access to my computer and they copied all the goes on the server and also made picture of me by hacking my camera. If I do not send them $752 vis bitcoins then they would distribute to my all contact list. I deleted the email, what else I could do? Please advise

Follow-Up: I deleted the nasty email and haven't heard anything more about it. Please let people know that they should not worry--and more importantly, DO NOT PAY ! ! These types of attacks are basically "Phishing-Plus." They have just enough information to get your attention (like your email address & an old password); and will try to get more information out of you. They will use this info to try and squeeze as much money out of you as they can. Let others in your workplace know they can safely delete the email and should report it. If you are concerned about people hacking your camera, tape a scrap of paper over the lens.

The threatening emails were in my sent folder so I am worried about that. I changed my password (which they probably had) the first time and added 2-factor and now just got a 2nd email followup also which has a copy in my "sent" folder.

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