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Scam emails demand Bitcoin, threaten blackmail

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The FTC uses the information it gets from people who report scams to keep close watch on trends, so we can alert you to changes. Here’s one: reports of Bitcoin blackmail scams have taken a big jump in the last few weeks. The emails say they hacked into your computer and recorded you visiting adult websites. They threaten to distribute the video to your friends and family within hours, unless you pay into their Bitcoin account. Stop. Don’t pay anything. Delete the message. It’s a scam.

Based on the timing of this spike, you may get one of these messages because your email was exposed in a recent data breach. The scammers may say they have access to your computer or webcam, or installed clever software to defeat you. That’s all talk. But they may really know one of your old – or recent – passwords, and they include it in the message to prove it. When you see that, you know it’s time to update your password on that account, and consider updating other passwords, too.

If you, or someone you know, get a message like this, please report it to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint.

Tagged with: hacker, privacy, scam

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I have been getting these periodically since October 2018. I traced the password they had to an account I used only for a couple of weeks in 2006(!) on the job posting website Monster.com. That is the only account in which I used the password the scammers had. I had to laugh--each time I received the email threat to send their alleged video to my contact list if I didn't pay up, the amount of the "ransom" was smaller!

Today, May 14, 2020, I received a scam to pay Bitcon in the amount of $2000 within one hour; otherwise, it will publish my purported porn. It had one my passwords, which meant this password of mine had been exposed. Will change password of website and email, and had deleted the fraud email by "Mono".

I got the same one today, but 24 hours to comply. Filed FTC report. The password they had is a very old one and I make new passwords up all the time. For anyone who is reading this thread, It's a good idea to change your passwords regularly if you don't already.

I also got an email today stating the same thing.

I know ( Password)is one of your password on day of hack..
Lets get directly to the point.
Not one person has paid me to check about you.
You do not know me and you're probably thinking why you are getting this email?
in fact, i actually placed a malware on the adult vids (adult porn) website and you know what, you visited this site to experience fun (you know what i mean).
When you were viewing videos, your browser started out operating as a RDP having a key logger which provided me with accessibility to your display and web cam.
immediately after that, my malware obtained every one of your contacts from your Messenger, FB, as well as email account.
after that i created a double-screen video. 1st part shows the video you were viewing (you have a nice taste omg), and 2nd part displays the recording of your cam, and its you.
Best solution would be to pay me $1082.
We are going to refer to it as a donation. in this situation, i most certainly will without delay remove your video.
My -BTC -address: 1JFYdq9QQJYUih6YmP2aHtU82RkLewHZ5Q
[case SeNSiTiVe, copy & paste it]
You could go on 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 do not know this, search 'how to buy bitcoin' in Google).
if you are planning on going to the law, surely, this e-mail can not be traced back to me, because it's hacked too.
I have taken care of my actions. i am not looking to ask you for a lot, i simply want to be paid.
if i do not receive the bitcoin;, i definitely will send out your video recording to all of your contacts including friends and family, co-workers, and so on.
Nevertheless, if i do get paid, i will destroy the recording immediately.
If you need proof, reply with Yeah then i will send out your video recording to your 8 friends.
it's a nonnegotiable offer and thus please don't waste mine time & yours by replying to this message.

What should file a complaint under?
Please advise..

same here, i got one with the exact amount and everything

I received this exact same email! Pretty much word for word! What did you end up doing????
I had a small panic attack when i first saw it

Same here. Just received same email demand. Damn, wish I had found that site!!!

Just received a lengthy one:
I will include it in the body of this reply:

Stating they have a recording of me... They will expose me to my contacts... Very Graphic commentary

From Ivy:
with this was the only thing I could copy from the email

1No891GFjCNU*F9hyR4WqJj7ti5gsSnbjmw

I have received a 2nd message in two days similar to all of these $3000 on bitcoin or else a video of me by spyware will be released to all my contacts fb and cell. One difference for me is that my threat is from text message by 2 different numbers.

I received one from text message on 5/24/20. Is this the new twist in this scam since the majority, if not all, of the reports out there involve email not text.

I was sent the same message to my phone as well. Figured it was a scam but still scary. Thanks for sharing. Hope these people have left you alone.

I just received this exact threat in an email form.

I received an email on the exact same day as you. I feel so much better that It's not a real thing. Never seen attempts like this before. I'll be using Lastpass for everything now.

I just received the same one. Very graphic.

Yes it is pretty crazy they do that. If your password is linked to your email it can send out a random text with any messages trying to extort you.

I received exactly the same email Sat 25 Jul 20 demanding payment in Dollars otherwise they will "release" my video to all my contacts and destroy my life! I have been receiving these emails on and off since last year. Strangely my password they mention in their email hasn't been used since 2005. Very disturbing and upsetting experience indeed.

I received THREE e-mails for bitcoins and I filed complains with FTC.

Did the FTC respond? What action was taken against the perpetrator, if any?

I freaked out when I first got one of these emails, submitted a full report to the FTC. 10 days later I got an email reply basically saying, "We reviewed your report and think this article may help you." And it was a link to their article about spam, which I had already read. And they didn't say anything else. Not very reassuring if you ask me. I'd like to assume they don't always do almost nothing about it. Since this scam is so large and ongoing I'm betting SOMETHING is being done to track them down, or at least I hope so.

My husband received two emails in this scam. One with the original threat and demanding a Bitcoin payment, a second came with a final demand and giving him a very short response time. I so appreciate the information put out by FTC. We were real concerned about the inclusion of a password and had no idea how the scammers got it. Your information helped tremendously.

I got a similar email containing my face book password. It creeped me out.

I received the same threat - once on 4/25 and another on 4/27.

I received the same treath - once on 5/13 and another one on 5/16

Just rec'd the "bitcoin scam" email yesterday and knew it was fake due to its inacurate comments. I forwarded it to spoof@.... not having any other address to send it. I will try to resend it to your email noted in this warning. Thank you....E. Salerno

For those receiving suspicious emails it would be great if you had a forward to email , this would also give you their header information. If they think folks are so dumb they will go it, they surely won't think they will be able to read the header info.

If you report it at www.FTC.gov/Complaint, you can copy & paste the email and header into the report. When you report, there's a place to tell us what happened in your own words. That's where you can copy & paste the message. Thanks.

After I click on "Complaint" what's the next place to click - there are none specific to "BitCoin?" AND thank you for this information

I reported mine under SPAM, that's for unsolicited and fraudulent emails. Also, if you opened the email and saw how much in bitcoin they're asking you to send to them, when you fill out the report, it'll ask, "Did you lose money?" Hopefully, your answer is no. In which case it'll switch the question to, "Were you asked to pay or send money? If so, how much?" Even though they ask you to pay them in bitcoin they are still asking you to spend money to send it to them. So for example, when I got these emails they wanted $800 in bitcoin, so put in the report that you were asked to send $800 and you can explain in the report they wanted that in bitcoin.

Shoot, I didn't include the email in my complaint yesterday...can I add it? Or do I need to submit a new one?

that message box doesn't allow enough characters to include the raw message - some of the header data fields are extremely long strings of code

When go to report it on the link you provided, what category do I select? There doesn't seem to be one that is exactly for this situation. Thanks!

What is the header info and how do you get it? Comcast wanted it to and I dont know how to get it

If you click "reply" it will show the email it came from. On your phone you will have to scroll down on the page to see it.

I agree Penny! Sonic.net has a email address you can forward these kinds of emails too. The FTC should have one we can forward the emails to as well. I received one of these emails a few days ago and then another one today. The password they have in the email isn't anything I'm familiar with. I also don't have a Webcam nor do I visit any sites they mentioned in the email so I knew it was bologna. I wanted to write back, if I had $3000 do you think I'd send it to some stranger that said they have video of me doing things. Especially, when I know for a fact they don't. Because I don't do the stuff they wrote in the email. I would love to forward these emails to the FTC because my first thought was extortion, blackmail. Serious trouble there.

Despite frequent searches for fraud-reporting addresses, it is the first time I see FTC.gov/Complaint. It has been poorly advertised.

Got this about a year or so ago. They wanted $850.00 of bitcoins. It didn’t scare me until it gave me 2 of my old passwords. I knew it wasn’t true, when they said they video me. I had no camera. I remember about a few of the old sites I had been on (Google) had been hacked. Now I know who to send these too. Thanks

This is also from the data breach of (SOE) servers in 2011. A lot of decent games closed in this era because of this carnage.

I have received one of the messages with an old password shown. It would be nice to know what company had the data breach

Already had a couple of these. They are really nice, they will even give you instructions on how to give them the bitcoins, how accommodating.....Wish there was someway you guys could track them down.

I can not send to the email address you have given me~~so please tell me what to do~~thank you

You don't need to send the scam email to the FTC. You can make report to the FTC. You do not need to give your name or personal information when you report. You choose how much information to give. Go to www.FTC.gov/Complaint to report the scam.

I have to tried to send my experience to you separately without success. So here goes again -- on April 27th I received an e-mail message (from "Raquel Mahneke <kkdonalux@ ") that referred to all the requirements/demands that your earlier note mentioned. However, I did not respond to the note, but I kept it on the off-chance that I would not it later. I will send you the whole message if you want it. David Dax

This is very old news. They did have an old password of mine BTW they are very persistent. sent a followup email once a week . I ended up canceling that email account

It's old news, but, as you said - it's persistent. We want people to know it's out there.  

Definitely not old news. I just received 2 of these emails. One on Sat and then another one today. I came here looking to see how to report it. Complete Blackmail & Extortion. I knew it was bogus because of the inaccurate accusations they said I've done. But nevertheless, they shouldn't be allowed to do this to people. In this day and computer age you guys should be able to trace these emails.

It may be very old news for some, but for me and obviously many others, it is the first time I/we have been made aware of it. I only wish that the FTC had published this information earlier.

It isn't old news...it is still going around. I receive my threatening email just last week. It is unnerving and I'm in the process of changing all of my passwords.

I received two of these emails last week and immediately knew they were scams for a variety of reasons. I could see, however, that this might scare the heck out of somebody who happened to meet the criteria mentioned in the email.

By the way, the password they specified was one that I had used many years ago for one particular website only.

out of interest which site? mine is a default password (was) for non important sites. but nif it was just one you know who was hacked, right?

The website was Aimoo.com which is a social media site with a variety of forums covering a wide range of topics (not porn). BTW, I do have a LinkedIn account but I do not have a Facebook account.

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