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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

Scam Tags:  Phishing Scams


I received one of those obviously phony emails a couple weeks ago.

I have gotten 4 so far . I changed passwords on Facebook and email account. Every 2 days would get one from a different email address.

Are you still receiving those emails even though you've changed your passwords on FB and on you email account?

I received one of those emails too & they had an old password. Extremely upsetting...we hv to be vigilant and report everything.

I got one today. I have never had a computer in my bedroom. I haven’t used the password they claimed to have for 15-20 years. Still, I was absolutely shaken by the message and had to look it up. Scary

I received the similar email too. The whole content of that email was full of threatening messages. Totally shaken. Can’t even think much and gotta ask family and ex to calm me down. That instant fear that made the heart drop, hope will never go through it anymore. Thanks to FTC for the information. Felt so much better after reading.

Thank you for this info. I will file a complaint. I received 2 emails over the course of a few days and even though I know they are scams I felt threatened by the content. They are coming into my cox communications email so I think I will reach out to them too.

Thanks for this, and all your other reports. I have gotten two of these, one last year, and one last week. They definitely knew an old passwork . . .It freaked me out the first time. I knew it when I saw it last week. You guys do good work.

Got 2. I think they got the addresses from facebook. One of them was an address I used because I was in Fb jail with the address I would have usually been on. I deleted that account and another under the address i use for business mail, which the bitcoin email came under. I only use Fb messenger now...suspended my full acct...sick of Fb lies.

I received the same threat this morning. Blackmailed my business reputation if I don’t pay $2k in bitcoin. From this address: ines.jaynes@ . I reported it and took a screen shot and deleted. Scary.

I was unable to send you my information. Your site would not accept it after all the work of posting it. Why?

While this may be "old news" I have had a recent experience with this as well. I received multiple bitcoin blackmail emails about a week ago. For me the alarming part was that they had my current password. I changed it of course, and reported it as well but it makes me very uneasy.

Yep, got this same scam last week with a follow up today. It was a very old Linked In password.

I've recieved 5 in the last wek and I just put them in my SPAM folder. They all have the same title but they aree all from different names and email addresses...on an OUTLOOK account. I see the address it comes from and they are all from outlook accounts. It peeves me off more than worries me because they just keep trying to scare me into sending them bitcoins...not going to happen I assure you.

What what category of complaint should we use? There wasn’t one that was specifically for email threats

I received a few of these password emails the past few days. They are now going to Spam as the email is

This happened many years ago (10+) and now recirculating. They picked up the password from something I didn't care to be secure. Could be Monster as someone mentioned.

Not worried about the threats with the vulgar name calling and circulating some non-existing video to porn sites. They are phishing for a response.

Just block extensions and go on your merry way.

I received this email today 9:22 a.m. from Boote Vatter jsvinazzj@ saying I had 24 hours to send bitcoins or they were going to send videos of me to all my contacts on my phone, facebook & instagram if I did not pay them 0.3 bitcoins. I filed complaint but should I report to law enforcement too?

I just opened this kind of email from Debi Radochia
<xyvlloydacu@ I know exactly where the password was from and I updated it months ago on that account. I also have been getting calls from Wells Fargo telling me that my card was being used in Thailand and I almost fell for that one. They sent me a link via text to click to have my card deactivated. I hung up after that and called the credit card company directly and canceled my card because I gave the person that called me the 3 numbers on the back of my card, they knew my card number and expiration date! That is why I thought it was legit. What a scary and uncertain time we live in now :(

I got the same email as well numerous times this week. Apparently an old password is out on the dark web. It is scary. The obvious short term solution is to change your password if you happen to still use the password they have. In most cases, people have already done this. I don't have a FB account like many of you. I have reported this scam to the FTC and the FBI internet crime division: default.aspx. They go into my junk mail but I have been getting at least one a day for the last 5 days. They are very annoying!

I received one of these emails today, my camera is always covered so I know this is a scam. They did have an old password that I haven't used in a long time, can't even remember where its from. They did ask for 2000 dollars btc but I choose not to. I'll just have to wait for the consequences.

Just got one of these today-- was a bit freaked out. Happy to see this website. Changed some passwords just in case.

Just got one of these today-- was a bit freaked out. Happy to see this website. Changed some passwords just in case.

I received an email today. I want to report it but not sure what category to use. Please let me know. Thanks!

I have now received three of these emails in the last week. I wish they would stop because they aggravating and stressful. The password is one that I might have used but I don't know what website I would have used it on. I also recently had my Twitter account hacked but I never use it and couldn't remember the password for it. I since deactivated that account.

I just filed a complaint yesterday on this exact scam!!
I haven't found how they got my password yet, but I'll keep at changing them all. Thank you for this!! Makes me feel a little better!!

I received two Bitcoin scam emails this past week. I know of three other people that received the same emails.
These scammers are creeps! Both of my emails came from female names. They supposedly have taken videos of a sexual nature and will share with everyone on my email and phone contact list, unless I get them 2000.00 dollars in Bitcoin. They tell you how to do the Bitcoin transaction and you have one day to do it. They both also had my password to an account I had with Amazon. If they indeed had a video, they might think that a fat 76 year old woman performing the sexual deeds they said they had, would cause people to throw up!! Wherever you creeps are located, even in other countries, remember that God will be your judge someday.

Amen to that. God is my witness. Not too concerned with these stupid threats. I’m getting these emails this week. Got them a year ago too. The PW they claim to have is only similar to a PW I have. It’s a scam. Haha if they want to send out videos of us tossing toys to our dog, then have at it. That’s the most wild thing I or my family do.

I got the threatening bitocin email. It sounds like what everyone else is getting. They do have a password I use for some things but not Facebook. It scared me because they knew a password. Thank you all for your comments because it did make me feel better.

I got this email yesterday claiming they had accessed my camera and had video footage of me "pleasuring myself" and if I did not send them a large sum in Bitcoin, then they would send this video to all my friends and family.

got the same one today

I received 2 emails with a password for one of my 15 year old daughters old accounts
Has anyone responded to emails saying you are reporting or did you just ignore?

I received an email scam from a “Audi Mcpeek”with a “alleged password of mine”. Password in subject line of email. Sender give me 24 hours to send them Bitcoins or they will release embarrassing photos of me. It came from an encrypted outlook email address. I took screenshots of email and did nothing.

I just got two of these and was unsure exactly what category to use in filing my report. I didn't see a "bitcoin scam" link on the Reporting page, so I just filed under the "something else" category. What is the appropriate category to use when filing a report on this?

I have rec'd at least 4 of these now. I did fill out an on-line report for the FTC. Even though I know it is all untrue and is still upsetting and would just like to have them stop and also the people caught in this scheme. Does anyone ever fall for this and pay them?? I cannot imagine

I'm thinking about attaching this page to my reply email to the scammer's next emailassuming I get one, and letting them know I've filed a complaint with FTC. Would this be a good idea?

That would just validate your email address with them. Best course I can see is ignore, delete and block sender

Has anyone experienced these blackmailers actually carrying out their threats?

Two days ago, I received a scam extortion email using one of my old passwords as the heading. The scammer used the obvious fake name "Bern Maceachern" and requested $3,000 in Bitcoin. If I did not pay him within 24 hours, he would use explicit videos of me taken by my computer camera during recent porn sessions. Unfortunately, I am 71 years old and do not visit porn sites nor do I have any computer camera on my PC! I laughed at this idiot, but I also sent the email information to the FBI and the FTC who investigate these scams.

Today I received email demanding bit coin else forward some porn video to my friends. Pls advise what should I do

My husband's received two emails and were filing a complaint with the email being copied for The FTC to review

So when do they give up? I've gotten 2 in 4 days now. Yes, some times I have visited such sites, so it was a little disconcerting, but being a very old password and having no FB account clued me in it was bunk.

What you posted is exactly as me. I have no FB account and they showed a very old password.

I have received this blackmail you have b en visiting pornsites and we have video email for 2+ years. If I paid everytime I got the email, it would have paid out to date in the 100k+ range. There are days I would get 4 or more the same words, from same sender's email address, but different amounts. Most likely your password and where it was obtained from is located at havei beenpwned. com

I just received one of these messages tonight. Said if I did not believe them to reply asking for proof. I didn’t of course, since I have not been to any adult sites, but they had an old password from a dating site I was on about 13 years ago. I deleted it immediately, but if I get another one I will send to FTC.

Received four of these from 4/27 to 5/5 through Comcast email. They appear to bypass spam/security filters by using a combination of special characters with regular text. All from different email addresses. When reading the email there are no apparent special characters but in both the 2-line Comcast preview as well as when you try to select text to copy the special characters reappear. Reported one to Comcast to abuse@c***** but they continue to arrive from other email addresses.

I received a bitMail threat today to extort 3000BT unless I send the requested. The subject listed as my OLD email address which i have not used since retirement 8 years ago. I completed the FCI form and submitted today.

I've received about 5 from all different user ids with different messages (some garbled) and amount demands. I reported the first one then set up my email account to direct any additional straight to trash (based on the old password in the subject).

Got the same email yesterday. First shock was to see my password out there in clear text. Found two sites where still using it. Dug deeper into my memory, and I could remember using the same on LinkedIn many years ago; which I changed immediately back then, when they had the leak (but never bothered at that time to check if I also used it on any other site). So, I'm pretty sure that's were they must have gotten it.

I freaked quite a bit (and not necc due to their direct threats of releasing webcam shots they claimed they had), but I figured that on one of the 2 sites where my passwd was still current, I had my physical home address and cc details saved (as it is a books & gifts shop and have ordered from them).

I freaked out real bad as they demonstrated they had one of my passwords, and clearly had my email too since they wrote to me.

Moral of the story, never again use the same pass on more than one site, and always use 2FA at least on those sites where you'd have more sensitive data saved (addr, cc).

As I slowly began to relax a bit, I realized worse came to shove, he could've figured out the one other site where this same pass would've fit and ordered a ton of books from it on my tab. But hey, then at least he might have get himself educated into a skill, get a job, get a life and hopefully stop spewing sleazy threats trying to trap honest-working people and depart them from their hard earn buck.

I still did file a complaint though. Even if I normally receive other spam too, but none has asked for $2000 (or any other amount for that matter). And none has rattled saber by showing they got a password that I once used. Guess they had to come up with some use to all those leaked passwords after all.

And the attitude in the threats, that's just so horrible and low; he assumes people have moral issues or struggles and he could just go ahead and extort them based on that, while in reality this very fact only exposes how debased his own mind is. Hope they'll all get found out eventually.

Thank you FTC for your service!

I have received 4 of these e-mails with an old password in subject line. All are the same message but from different people. I reported them to FTC. Very annoying since they did have a password.

I received one of these threat scams. They used a password that I only use for an old account in a Central American country that I have not used for a long time. I appreciate the information about this and will delete and ignore.


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