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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

So Many... Thanks For The Info!

It happened to us. Threatened porn sites. Very upsetting. Called police but they took some info and never called back. Sad to believe people can hack in and get info. How do they decide who to contact?

They don't target just one person - they bulk 'spam'. I receive several of these each month on four or five different email addresses (ironically, to do with businesses I used to run, but am now retired). They are obvious fakes. I don't have a webcam, so I don't know what videos of me they are referring to. The part that really annoys me is that the emails seem to come from my own email account, so I can't even report them as spam!

I got the same email extortion threat where they used my email address and an old password in order to give their message credibility. It's a ridiculous threat, but I was upset that the password they had was from an old MicroSoft account of mine. Not sure how they got that. The person sending the email has poor English skills. I received one of these types of email threats before and it originated from Japan because the sender didn't hide their email address well enough and I saw that it ended in JP. The only thing I know about this new extortionist is their BTC Wallet: 15G9wyGRDssFXsfwEm1ihdJs2xabVPDu68. On a bitware website, that address has been reported as a scam 13 times so far. Beware.

Saw one in my junk folder from Monday night wanted 867 $ very wierd number. I know it's bs I have not gone to a porn site in a long time

Four of these letters so far. Here's the funny part. I don't have a webcam and have never been to a porn site in my entire life.

I received the same extortion threat email today using an old password, I was really worried that they had information to sent to my contact, I was going to send them the money, I'm so glad that I googled this information finding out that this has been going on for a long time, thank you all

I received this email on Feb. 12, 2019. While I wasn't worried about a webcam video the crook claimed to have of me, the fact that s/he had a combination of an old password really scared me and they tried to extort money. They need to be caught quickly.
BTC address in my email was; 1F8Nwbr43tADcRNYpHkVQnjBaF47LMpvfe

Just received one today April 25 saying they'll send my video to my facebook friends except I don't have facebook.

I got one today, I laughed and deleted it. Last year or year before, a company got hacked (well not really hacked, they just didn't have their information secure enough). That company had millions of peoples information, passwords, address, websites, interests, kids names, spouses name, etc. Someone took that and sold it on the dark web, apparently whoever bought it is sending out these emails now. creditkarma.com sent me an email letting me know several of my passwords and information had been taken, thankfully that password had been changed several years ago so it didn't really affect me.

I just received an email in my spam folder trying to black mail me about some site I was not on it did have an old email address and said they were going to contact all my contracts with this seedy information and a video. They wanted 936 bit coins. I did delete the email,but what I am reading is I should report it to the FBI. I did send out a blank email (from a different email address) to all my contacts not to open any emails from the affected email address I hope I did the right thing

cover your camera lens with black tape or dark paper. I have had mine covered for over 2 years. cant video you if covered

Along with covering your camera lens with black tape or dark paper, go into your privacy settings and disable the camera and your microphone if you don't use either one on a daily bases.

I received this bit of garbage just yesterday:

Sent from my iPad

On Mar 7, 2019, at 9:43 AM

I am well aware xxxxxxxx is one of your pass. Lets get directly to the point. There is no one who has paid me to check about you. You don't know me and you are probably wondering why you're getting this mail.
actually, i setup a software on the 18+ vids (sex sites) web-site and there's more, you visited this site to have fun (you know what i mean). While you were viewing video clips, your internet browser started out operating as a Remote control Desktop that has a key logger which gave me access to your screen as well as webcam. Right after that, my software collected your entire contacts from your Messenger, Facebook, and email . Next i created a double video. 1st part displays the video you were viewing (you've got a good taste hahah), and second part displays the recording of your webcam, yea its u (I don’t have a webcam on my PC)
You actually have two different alternatives. We are going to study these possibilities in particulars

First alternative is to skip this e mail. as a result, i most certainly will send out your actual recorded material to all your your personal contacts and also imagine regarding the humiliation you experience. Not to forget if you happen to be in a romance, how this will affect?

Next option would be to give me $889. We are going to refer to it as a donation. Then, i most certainly will promptly delete your videotape. You will go on your daily life like this never happened and you are never going to hear back again from me.

You'll make the payment through Bi‌tco‌in (if you do not know this, search for 'how to buy b‌itcoi‌n' in Google).

B‌T‌C‌ ad‌dre‌ss to send to: 14cxPepKjJ8XR5k4u7jskJiqMH2vGFV5WY

Should you are planning on going to the law enforcement, good, this email message cannot be traced back to me. I have covered my moves. i am not attempting to demand so much, i wish to be rewarded. e-mail if i do not get the ‌bi‌tco‌in‌, i definitely will send out your video to all of your contacts including membe rs of your family, co-workers, and so forth. Nevertheless, if i receive the payment, i will destroy the recording immediately. If you need evidence, reply Yeah! and i definitely will send out your video to your 8 friends. it's a non-negotiable offer, therefore please do not waste my personal time and yours by replying to this mail.

I got the same one too, as follows:
[old password from years ago]

^^ is your password. You don't know me and you're thinking why you received this email, right?

I placed malware on the porn website and guess what, you visited this web site to have fun (you know what I mean). While you were watching the video, your web browser acted as an RDP (Remote Desktop) and a key logger which provided me access to your display screen and Webcam.

Right after that, my software gathered all your contacts from your Messenger, Facebook account, and email account. What exactly did do? I made a splitscreen video. First part recorded the video you were viewing (you've got a fine taste haha), and next part recorded your Webcam (Yepl la's you doing nasty things/).

What should you do?

Well, I believe, $1400 is a fair price for our little secret. You'll make the payment via Bitcoin to the below address (if you don't know this, search "how to buy
bitcoin" in Google).

BTC Address -->>
1E6RLxR1rXQAW6ribdi9v9dePCsBNYFbBT

(It is case sensitive, so copy and paste it)

Important:
You have 24 hours in order to make the payment. (I have an unique pixel within this email message, and right now Know that you have read this email). If I don't get the payment, I will send your video to all of your contacts including relatives, coworkers, and so forth. Nonetheless, ill do get paid, I will erase the video immidiately. If you want evidence, reply with "Yes!" and I will send your video recording to your 5 friends. This is a non-negotiable offer, so don't waste my time and yours by replying to this email.

I just got the same email. I have never been to a porn site in my life. The password was an old one. I filed a complaint with the FBI cyber crime division. I was not able however to copy and paste the body of the email and the source code was 31 pages long so would not fit either. So, the FBI will need to contact me if they would like a copy of the email and source info........... What a bunch of dirt bags.

I just received the same exact email word per word and I did a search on some old email lists and every thing exactly matched to my old Equifax account - go figure.

I got this exact one yesterday. I reported it, but not worried about them. But so frustrating! I'm almost 70, so this is elder abuse.

I got a similar message on 5/20/19 which I accidentally opened. I think I had received similar messages before, but I did not open them if I do not recognize. I am concerned that someone had hacked into my computer and stolen my information on banking and other online bill payment. At east I am somewhat relieved that others had similar messages and this could be scam going on.

I got nearly this exact same message this morning, but with a bunch of gibberish between the sentences

I just received the exact same message. Very upsetting.

I received the exact same one!! I did visit a site or two but the password mentioned was from years ago. Should I just ignore it?
I don’t have a webcam

I just received one today! Mine started with a voice message that was left on my cell phone. The message sounded legit as if the caller was leaving an important message to someone named John..so I thought I would be nice and call back to let them know they have the wrong phone number. Well today they tried calling again and it went to my voice mail again...well I clicked the link and it must of triggered the "Security Breach" email about visiting the porn site.

I just received this identical email today May22, 2019:

I know xxxxxxx is one of your passwords. Lets get straight to the point. No-one has compensated me to investigate about you. You don't know me and you're most likely wondering why you're getting this mail?

actually, i setup a malware on the 18+ video clips (adult porn) website and you know what, you visited this website to experience fun (you know what i mean). While you were watching video clips, your browser started functioning as a Remote Desktop having a key logger which provided me with accessibility to your display screen as well as web camera. immediately after that, my software program obtained every one of your contacts from your Messenger, social networks, and emailaccount. after that i made a double-screen video. First part displays the video you were watching (you have a nice taste hahah), and second part shows the recording of your cam, & its u.

You actually have not one but two choices. Shall we understand each of these solutions in aspects:

First choice is to skip this email message. in that case, i most certainly will send out your very own videotape to every single one of your personal contacts and think about regarding the humiliation you will get. Keep in mind if you are in an important relationship, exactly how it will certainly affect?

Second alternative will be to compensate me USD 987. Let us describe it as a donation. in such a case, i will promptly discard your video recording. You will keep going your life like this never happened and you will not ever hear back again from me.

You'll make the payment via Bi‌tco‌in (if you don't know this, search for 'how to buy b‌itcoi‌n' in Google search engine).

B‌T‌C‌ ad‌dre‌ss: 1HC9jWvagVRVMXw2bB7WcAybtoe3xcH1qi

[case SeNSiTiVe so copy and paste it]

in case you are looking at going to the law, okay, this email message can not be traced back to me. I have taken care of my moves. i am also not trying to ask you for much, i prefer to be rewarded. mail if i do not get the ‌bi‌tco‌in‌, i will definately send your video to all of your contacts including friends and family, colleagues, etc. Nonetheless, if i do get paid, i will destroy the video immediately. If you want to have evidence, reply Yea! and i will certainly send out your video recording to your 6 contacts. This is a non-negotiable offer thus do not waste mine time and yours by responding to this mail.

I’m only 16 and I am getting the same thing as everyone else and my school confronted me about it because it’s on their computers and every time I read it it makes my stomach turn. How could I get rid of these

You can report it immediately to your local police, and the FBI. The threats in the emails are signs of a scam.

Here's a new one. Got a text saying there was a 'discreet package' waiting for me at a local airport but would be turned over to airport police if I didn't pay refundable insurance of $850 (in bitcoin). Of course, this particular airport doesn't have police, customs, nor does it receive deliveries. I got another text with my name and address, which is disconcerting, but the overall language had bad grammar and the companyhad a seemingly legit website, but their main line was the one texting me and their address came back as a pizza joint. Scam...but still, scary how our info is out there.

The answer to this latest criminality is just simply to NOT use bitcoins. Simple as that.

Uh...don't think you understand the scam. It's not the using of bitcoin that leads to the scam. 99% of the victims probably never used bitcoin, that is just what they are told to pay in. bitcoin in internet money, and that is how the blackmailer wants to be paid or he will expose the victims porn viewing, or whatever it is they are threatening to expose, even if the victim did nothing.

I just found an email in my junk folder from a scammer wanting “ compensation” for not revealing porn I supposedly watched, to my contacts, for $1000 in bitcoins.
Claiming a video was made of me watching porn, through a web cam. It’s false.. but if it was true that I watched porn..so what?! Thing that worried me was that the message also contained a previous password that I did use. Any input?

This scam is going around to a lot of people. An e-mail came in about this from my jobs IT department. I believe that some sites have malicious malware and spyware attached. Be careful where you surf online. If you are surfing on one of these sites, hackers may be able to access your browser information. Don't save passwords or usernames in your browser. Don't use the same username and password on different sites. Change your password every few months. Lastly, some sites have been hacked and if you gave any personal information for purchases, the information may have been compromised. This maybe how they got personal information. It is disturbing reading about this and pretty scary.

I just got the same email!! Jokes on them because I have NO money to give!
It is kind of crazy that they were able to get my iPhone passcode, though...what info do they have access to with that now? Are they able to see everything I type? I suppose paranoia has set in!

I am guessing that they are using email/password combos from very old lists garnished from hacks. When they contacted me, they used a pw from the massive Yahoo hack of many years ago, after which I of course changed all of my pw's.

Frannygranny, my wife got I suppose an identical email within the past day. The password provided was an old one. We're figuring that someone hacked a weakly-protected website and got passwords and emails, and sent out that letter to thousands of email addresses, figuring that they only need a small percentage of recipients to send bitcoins to make it a very lucrative scam. _IF_ you could get a big group of people who received that email to list all the websites they used that particular password on, you should be able to get a really good idea of which website was hacked. It could even have been an innocuous-looking site that was set up specifically to steal passwords, knowing that many people use the same password on many sites.

My email scammer had an old password I did use and forgot about. I think it was to a gaming registration, I can't remember but it was probably sold from someone who worked at a company I registered on. That's my thought.

I've also just started seeing these extortion attempts for $950 or so in bitcoin, with one of my old passwords in the subject header and the chestnut about me watching porn. I knew it was fake because I don't have any interest in porn (and so what if I did) and my camera on my 'puter is covered up, but the password was real - it was just a really old one. A few months back, I got a notification someone had logged in as me from Mexico and then Venezuela on some EA gaming site, I believe. I didn't even remember having that account (it was probably a one-time login I created for some fleeting reason), but when I tried to log in and check it out, that was the same password the account took. So, that might be the hack these are derived from. Or maybe it's the Yahoo hack someone else mentioned. I think I used to use that password for Yahoo a long time ago, too.

I got the same email and reported to the FTC. Not sure what will happen next. Did anything happened to your account or personal email or information? The person used my own email to write me an email. This is what they wrote: (this was today! I xxxxx out my password. So sick!!

———

Hello!

As you may have noticed, I sent you an email from your account.
This means that I have full access to your account: On moment of hack your account has password: xxxxxxx

You say: this is the old password!
Or: I will change my password at any time!

Yes! You're right!
But the fact is that when you change the password, my trojan always saves a new one!

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 $773 to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how to do this, write to Google: “Buy Bitcoin”).

My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is: 19Q3HZtnznuB5cuWng8cacwqZV13gNpZaN

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!

thats the exact same email I got and it freaked me out cuz I was so stunned as to thinking somebody stole my old password and hacked my phone? it took me a few minutes to settle down and do a search online and found this site and I finally calmed down. I was worried they were going to make up some fake video and send it out! I cant believe a scam like this can happen.

I received virtually the exact same email (with a different bitcoin wallet address).

I received the same email, but the BTC address was 1DrThpxYV7JtvrVkneuJMYtn8Fik8efSwn. Same 48 hour threat to pay.

I received almost the exact same email letter and I immediately sent a complaint to the FB with a copy of the threatening email letter!!! I wonder if the FBI will contact me back?

I got the exact e-mail. In fact I've gotten several since 10/31/2018. A couple were even sent from my address to my address so I've changed the password. I didn't see the first one immediately because I never checked my spam folder then, but was expecting an e-mail somebody told me might go in there. I just got this one, which I'm sure isn't from the first person I know from him getting into my iPad for the third time and even taking a picture of me with my camera, another invasion of privacy. I loved my iPad since I'm visually impaired and everything on it is much larger, but I'm giving up on using a device I paid over $300 for so he'll hopefully eave me alone.

This is the first one who's ever given an e-mail address that probably isn't theirs, but somebody's they've hacked into so I won't give it. I'm x-ing out the pw even though it wasn't mine, but the one the first person claimed they'd changed it to before they changed it back. I figure he sold my e-mail address to other scum like him.

Mar 16 at 4:20 PM
I do know xxxxxxxxxx is your passwords. Lets get directly to the purpose. Nobody has compensated me to investigate you. You do not know me and you are probably wondering why you are getting this mail?
in fact, i actually installed a malware on the X video clips (sex sites) site and there's more, you visited this site to have fun (you know what i mean). When you were viewing videos, your internet browser initiated working as a Remote Desktop that has a keylogger which gave me accessibility to your display screen and cam. after that, my software program gathered all your contacts from your Messenger, social networks, and e-mailaccount. after that i created a double video. First part displays the video you were viewing (you've got a good taste : )), and next part displays the recording of your web cam, & it is u.
You have only 2 possibilities. Lets read each one of these options in details:
First choice is to disregard this email. Then, i most certainly will send your very own tape to almost all of your personal contacts and thus think regarding the disgrace that you receive. Furthermore if you are in a romance, precisely how it will affect?
Number 2 solution should be to pay me USD 988. We will think of it as a donation. Consequently, i most certainly will asap discard your video recording. You will continue your life like this never happened and you would never hear back again from me.
You will make the payment through Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search for 'how to buy bitcoin' in Google search engine).
BTC address to send to:

1ELzee2T9Wd5YPTYhWbWD3xK7xB5tJ94J4

[CaSe-SeNSiTiVe copy and paste it]

in case you are thinking about going to the authorities, surely, this mail can not be traced back to me. I have dealt with my moves. i am also not looking to ask you for a whole lot, i prefer to be paid for messages and if i don't receive the bitcoin, i definitely will send your video to all of your contacts including relatives, colleagues, and so forth. Nonetheless, if i do get paid, i will destroy the recording immediately. If you want to have proof, reply with Yeah! then i will send your video recording to your 14 friends. This is the non:negotiable offer, therefore do not waste mine time & yours by replying to this email.

This was the EXACT same format of the email I JUST found in my junk folder from the fifth of this month! I never use that email anymore really, so I never checked it. But this is the exact same format, with just a few numbers and words exchanged here and there. So do I go to the police or the FBI or something? How would I even go to the FBI about this?

I got the same email. How did you figure out they got your photo?

I got the same exact email yesterday.

I received virtually the same email that you did, though the Bitcoin address was different, and the password was "password" (which I've never used). It is disconcerting. I'm a senior woman who has never gone to a porn site. Plus, I use a desktop, and my camera/mike is plugged in only when it is in use...very rarely. I have no intention of sending the scammer any Bitcoin.

I found that exact email in my junk mail today. Also had threats of read receipt so would know when it was read. Also not to copy or notify anyone. I just deleted but will send to FBI if receive anything else.

I had the same exact thing old old password I reported to the FBI

I just got the same exact Email!

Got a similar piece a week ago. If they were truly going to threaten me they would have already done something. They made a claim about how they recorded me with my own webcam. I'm sorry, but its rather hard to record me with my webcam when its not even plugged into the computer! So yeah, 100% bogus.

And saying they can't be tracked? I'm quite sure that the FBI has ways to track a bitcoin 'address'.

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