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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 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 ?

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 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.

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

Do you play words with friends? I received an email this morning asking for 3000 bitcoin and the same information that everyone else is posting. It is really scary because it’s an old password. I subscribe to LifeLock. I went on and checked my messages, and sure enough the company that created words with friends and other apps had a data breach and sold info to the dark web.

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

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