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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

yup, got the same one. i haven't used that password in a while but i remember an instance of data being breached (on a gov website nonetheless) but i didn't use that password when it happened so it freaked me out.

feels reassuring to know it's a very specific phishing e-mail...i actually considered e-mailing them and saying "go ahead no one i know, including family, employers, or landlord, would honestly be that disturbed. i'm the one being exploited for being a human on the internet after all."

I got 5 days ago same as these. To pay $4105 via Bitcoin.

Got the same email yesterday (to pay $5433 in Bitcoin) and it did freak me out as it was an old password that they noted but I do not use the password anymore. Started changing many passwords on my accounts, including my email account. Going to continue to change more passwords today and did file a report to the FTC.

I received an email from my own gmail email address attempting to "extort" me and demanding payment in bitcoin.

I just got it. Now the going rate has gone up to 6907 bitcoin. It's more annoying than anything else as the password is one I occasionally use so now I have to change everything,

I received the same email today.

For me the amount was 4082, think they have something that changes based on percieved "wealth"?

I got this email today. First of all and I would recommend this to anyone. I tape up all my cameras when I’m not using them. I know they have nothing on me. And it’s a scam. But if they did. The videos would show nothing. Just a black screen.

Just got this email! Freaked out that they somehow hacked into my computer.

Lol I got that one today, there's one further down the thread that is EXACTLY the same. Funny thing is, it's one of my kid's passwords from when she was in high school 15 or 16 years ago. These scammers are hilarious.

Got the same exact thing yesterday in 2 repeated emails in my spam foldter. First thing I did after reading was to delete it. But I did agonize over it all night until a close friend pointed me to this write up. Password mentioned was one I no longer use. I checked against all known sites where I use a password and saw no instances of it. I was relieved to find out it was bogus...heinous, but bogus. Makes you wonder what better things someone who spends their time devoted to scamming people might be able to apply their minds to.

Has the FCC actually made some arrests and post these arrests to serve as a deterrent???

I received the same email today but they demanded $5424. I never visit porn sites so I’m not worried but I did go through some accounts and change my passwords on the side of caution.

I opened the same blackmailing email tonight. It had beencaptured in my spam file. It want $6698. I was shook because it knew my current password. But have never been on a porn site so knew it must be spam or phishing or whatever it is called.

Got the email last night. Freaked me out because I had never heard of this scam. Found 8 exact same emails in my SPAM account. Would be amusing if it didn't contain that initial bit of personal information, and for us not so computer literate people, that is quite unnerving.

I received this exact email yesterday. Being in the nature of my business, I couldn't take the risk. The headline of the email was in fact my password. They threatened I pay $6,000 in bitcoin and would then erase whatever data or Spyware they had on my laptop.

I never paid them ... obviously. But this sparked the concern of breach of confidentiality for my clients resulting in me deleting all social media including that current email. I lost everything. Its unfortunate but felt it was needed and justified.

Sad that it's come to this. I feel bad for all victims who result in paying these scam artists. The emails are clever and believable.

I got scam mail since 15-Jan-2021 until now nothing happens. Sorry, I'm not good at English.

I had the same thing happen to me but they asked for $6044 that's a lot of money, but I'm educated now and have changed all my passwords. The password they threatened me with was one from YEARS ago and I don't remember the website I used it with but I know that it's not an important website that they'll be able to uncover personal info on me. I'll do my best to remember though just in case.

Every now and then I just browse through my junk folder to laugh at the stupid emails and i saw one like this, it had a password i used for a really old chat room account, they demanded bitcoin and said that they would “expose me for adult content” as well as every contact on every social media platform i use

I just received the email yesterday demanding $1400 in 48hrs .

Mine didn't have a password attached, but instead had a Google Doc's labeled myname.txt? I didn't click it, but no one else seems to have gotten one of these which is what worries me. I deleted the email but a small part of me can't help but wonder if there was an image or video in the link of me or something with proof. I assume it was nothing since I've gotten the password scam multiple times before. The body of the email was textbook scam language, but still unsettling that it is more unique than usual.

I got this exact same email last night. No old password, not asking for bitcoin specifically, and a text file attached to the email my name.txt

I got this exact one today! And finally I found someone with the same issue thank goodness. It’s really scary

I got this same email over the weekend. Body of the text was strange and vague, and then a .txt file that was labeled with my name was attached. I have not opened the file but am extremely curious.

I got the same email! The password they claimed to have is very old & of an account I hardly ever use however I got the email on my active gmail account...how & why did they send it on my other gmail account instead of the account associated with that old password? Should i be concerned? The two accounts are not linked btw.

I just got one saying they are going to leak my browser history and videos they have found. Is this all true?

I too received such an email having one of my very old password as the subject of the email. They demanded $5200 and said if i don't send this through the bitcoin link, they will expose my video with my friends. I immediately deleted the video and changed my current password too.

how do i know which website the password is for to change it?

Hi, my email address is exposed to the dark web since 2016. Since then I've been receiving various threatening emails from hackers, asking for money directly or by other forms of phishing. I never clicked their link. But since 2019, hackers directly accessing my email, and keep sending me emails from my email, they include my password in the email each time I change it. The sender's email address shows my email address, and they keep asking for bitcoins, and many things. How can I deal with this? In the last two years, I changed the password more than 10 times, but sooner they get the password and then access my email to write to me.

I received a similar email today

I got one today at work saying that it captured me through their app on my webcam which one I honestly don’t have a webcam. Two saying I got to pay 1300 in Bitcoin or there’s gonna be consequences. Is there anything to worry about with mine the name on mine was Arlene Gordon.

Received the same email today

They may have Video/Audio information from Security Systems and WiFi.

I received one of these yesterday in my work email. (2/15/21), so they're still going around. They didn't show me a password (old or new), but wanted me to send $1085 to a BitCoin account.
I deleted, blocked, & reported on here. It's crazy (& scary) how these kinds of jerks can call, send emails, & just harass people all the time & get away with it.

I just got one today at work. Saying it captured me on their app through my webcam and didn’t elaborate with the details on the how. And said if I don’t pay 1300 in Bitcoin in 96 hours, suffer the consequences. Is this really real? Do I have anything to worry about

I received this threat as well

Got one of these today. Different wording same content. Change passwords and then move on!

Is there any way of figuring out what password has been hacked. I used the password that had been hacked on many things (not a smart idea but I was stupid)

I just received one of these emails yesterday.
Thanks for the information

Received the very same text as many posted on 22-2-2021 or at least that's when i found it in my Spam folder. The password was one I used in 2006 or so. The guy asked around 1040 USD, I didn't do anything, just erased the email.

I got one 4 days ago.
I ignored it as it was obviously a scam.
However my mom and my sister's account received a suspicious video link from a mutual friend who used to be my ex boyfriend.

States: is this you in the video? with what looks like a recent picture from my new house.

Note ex is a friend from my old deactivated facebook account 3 years ago.

I got the exact same message. The clever thing they do is to worry you by stating a correct password . It makes the scam feel more 'personal' not just generic . One flaw in their 'cunning plan'...they claim to have hacked my webcam...thing is, my pc doesn't have a webcam!

Just got this email this morning.

Got one today asking me to pay money or else. Exact same message as others have reported.

What is the government doing to protect our personal info from repeated hacks? This situation is minor compared to the loss of our SSN and date of birth.

It would be another "Year 2000" problem, but is there a way to add digits or characters to our SSN making the old SSN obsolete?

February 23, 2021, received a scam email, the anonymous email was asking $650 to be transferred to a bitcoin wallet.

Got one of these today. Deleted it. The subject line had a name that I recognized as one that I had used on an account a while back in connection with a local news paper online version. I slight panic gave way to some sober analysis, which included my computer not having a camera!

I received this email 1/30/2021. It mentioned a password hint rather than an actual password.

I got the email with the threat of the porn stuff and to pay Bitcoin, but instead of posting some old password, they only typed out my email address and claimed they had logged in it. Guess that’s the other go-to when they don’t have an old password to threaten with...

Yea got that email too on the 24th. Had me pretty freaked out seeing my PW mentioned in the email. In the process of changing the pw on any site that used it.

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