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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.

Scam Tags:  Phishing Scams

Comments

I literally got this email today asking for the same thing! It followed up with having a read receipt and what not to start the clock (50hrs) to pay. Crazy seeing how I never use my cam for anything anyway. I also have an antivirus protection that notifies me any time its blocking something. Seeing how other people have encountered this problem is very relieving.

Hi. I got the same exact email word for word. What should I do? I got a panic attack and happen to stumble upon this website with the list of all your comments and feel a little relieved that I’m not the only one receiving the email. The hacker hasn’t done anything to any of you right?

I didn’t see the blackmail email until a week after I was supposed to deliver the bitcoin. So unless no one in my contacts cared about the alleged video of me they received, I’m willing to bet nothing was sent.

same mine says 6 days ago and i thought it was still going to happen but he was giving me time, the password used was super old and it was from a clothing website called shein because thats literally the only one i have that password on

Yes, same here. The password I used on SHEIN

Unfortunately, I got the exactly same email (only the $ amount is different) yesterday.

Same, they sent me the exact same email word for word and I recognized the password they used from Shein, too.

I got this today as well. Exact same verbiage and threat. Do we file a complaint through FTC?

I got the exact same one 2 weeks ago, but it ended up in my spam inbox (I wonder why). I saw it today and was starting to get worried. Seeing that you got the exact same email has reassured me. Thank you.

Got the same email September 29th

I received the same email yesterday. I'm glad it's not just me.

I got the same exact email LOL. I panicked at first then I do some research about bitcoin scams and i found out about this thread/forum.

Thanks for copying and pasting I got nearly the exact same message. I was sure it was fake but it feels reassuring.

Yep, I got the same email on October 13, 2020. Scary to see it is still an ongoing scam! Word for word, the exact same email you gave us here, except for the amount of money listed. Hope to see these emails stop soon. The scariest part is that the password included in the email was an actual password I use.

Hi I have received the exact email today, very scary because it is actually one of my passwords. Did you report it? Thanks

I got a literally same message ..copy paste except for the amount 1040 lol

I got the exact same email. Filed a report and deleted it. This could be in connection with a recent breach in Barnes and Noble where a bunch of emails were stolen.

So I got the same. should I just ignore this ?

I just received this too, almost word for word.

I got this exact email today which was strange to me because I don’t visit those sites and I have coverings over all my cameras. The password they mentioned was my pets name but I had been calling the pet another name for years so it made me laugh. Either way came on here to see if I could find similar examples

12/25/2020
Exactly the same except for the amount wanting over $5000.

Yes, I just got that too! Stupid scammer

I received exact same email on 1/30/20.

I got this exact email today.

Same e-mail- They used my ps4 old password.

I got the same email.. twice! It looks legit but thankfully I found this site before doing anything

I got the exact same email today and had a notification from Instagram a few days ago that someone was logging into my account from Mozambique. Of course I denied it was me and changed my password immediately but they mentioned the password I had for Instagram in the email.

Did they do anything that was mentioned in the email?

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

Did you ever get any harm after not paying the ransom ?

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 a threatening email on July 25th as well and another one today. I read the first but only a couple of sentences of the second. .They didn’t even get my name right. I spent time securing all passwords. All my devises have malware protection. Keep in mind we pay for our devises and for our plans. These parasites are trying to leach off us. Do not let these thieves take anything from you. I was rattled because the hacker was able to get into accounts and place a few orders. Watch your cell phone account. The low life ordered an expensive iPhone. It was delivered to my house and 15 minutes later fed ex showed up with a pick up order to ship the phone I paid for, on a plan I paid for as well. There is a special place in hell for these disguising scammers.

I got this email yesterday. Did they ever contact you to ask where the money was? They want Bitcoin from me but cryptocurrency is not legal in my state so I can't get any even if I try. He got my info from hacking an old FB profile that I don't use anymore.

I think mine is the same as yours. What actions did you take and did anything happen?

YES! I used this email about 3 years ago on Monster when I was looking for a job. I have gotten nothing but innocuous spammy emails wanting me to buy things or that I have won something. This is the first ransom style email I have gotten so far.

Got the same one on Sunday, but during weekends I never check my email. I could not help but laugh, since I don't visit porn sites at all. The password however was a password that I have used about 2 years ago, which I do not really appreciate. Shows the importance of changing your password often.

Haha, I don't watch porn sites, so good luck with that :P

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.

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