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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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Got one yesterday but it was a text not an email. The same as what I have been reading here. The number the text came from is 402-267-9388. Anyone else get a text???

Yes. Txt with the same wording, including the "proof" to 5 of my friends. Filed with FTC and went to local police. One of them said they got the same txt! And to block and ignore it. Mine came from a 361 area code.

Same but the number was 402-267-9215. Reported it here and the FBI.

I don’t use a computer or email anymore, just a smartphone with cameras covered. I don’t visit porn sites. I received a pretty frightening threat by text. Same offer of proof to five contacts. Lifetime of guilt if I don’t pay a “contribution”. Have not responded. Will change pw to my phone. I know there are hack programs available which allow people to see and video victims and so I keep lenses covered and don’t even take phone with me. I suppose they can steal personal photos and texts but I live a quiet life so where is the scandal value. Of course the threats to my contacts are annoying but the reason I’m so careful is that a few of my contacts are themselves very tech savvy and dangerous. If this idiot annoys them he will not be a problem for anyone much longer.

I received a text message with a similar threat saying they have access to all my digital photos and videos and will send to my contacts, including Facebook, which I do not have an account, if I don’t send $1000 to bitcoin. I blocked and deleted. Has anyone else received a text and not an email?

I keep getting emails from bitcoin I delete them report to scam but you can gaurantee every other week I get another I have never delt with them at all wish they would disappear of my email!!!!

Has anyone received this through text? I just received one this morning and am freaking out. Of course the whole script was followed... I have video of you visiting sites, will send to all your contact list unless you pay within 24 hours. They didn’t say anything specific to me though so....

i just got one just like this

Yes. I received via text on May 24, 2020. Same tone of message as emails but words were slightly different. 24 hours to pay btc, compromising video, will make life a living nightmare if payment not received.

Received a text, not an email. Said that they owned a video of me and had it via spyware and had hacked FB, contact list and would send it to all contacts. Threatening to extort, demanded my attention and 1000 BTC at a listed address/acct or would send video to all contacts. Promised to " leave me alone and never bother me again if I paid."

Yeah, that's about word for word the one I got. I deleted it.

Received a similar threat via text a few days ago that video was recorded through spyware. The words and phrases were different than those on the emails. Is this the new twist in this scam as these criminals are constantly altering their tactics?

I got one as a text message - take it it’s the same scam

Bitcoin/blackmail scam against my wife
(past communication with Yahoo that her phone was used in Vietnam ) probably originated from Vietnam.

Ygoldberg,
Bitcoin/blackmail scam against my wife
(past communication with Yahoo that her phone was used in Vietnam ) probably originated from Vietnam.

Parent received text from this number (715)230-3035, demanding USD 1000 in Bitcoin.

i just got one saying that it will expose a “video” of me doing something and that it has all my information and will send the video to 7 contacts if i don’t pay them 100

I just received that email tonight. I figured it was a scam but it's reassuring to know for sure...Thanks

I also got an email. Threatening if I don’t send 2000 bitcoin in 24 hrs they’ll ruin my life... I looked up 2000 bitcoin it’s around 13million dollars! Dude if I had 13 million dollars I sure as heck wouldn’t send it to a stranger and even if they had anything to embarrass me who cares. With 13 million in my own pocket Id just move where nobody knew me lol
I’m glad this information is here to reassure folks that it’s a scam happening to plenty of ppl and not true

What should I do if I forget which web portal the password belongs to?

I received an email like this earlier today, also with an old password. It is the same as mentioned in the other comment. I have to pay $2000 in bitcoin.
The message is from a Sianna
19iud1Xhx9S*1LZUYUuvx9csBfWWnfma7zd

Hi; I'm from Mexico but I do read, listen and talk English often so I'm sure I visited one of the sites this scam people monotorize. I got it like a month ago and I felt unsure for the phrasing mostly but it was weird cause I'm using a computer I don't normally use. I don't think they got an old or current password of any of my accounts that I can recall as I just send it directly to spam folder. So today Cleaning my email I found this one:
Andrew Kyle <nancy12ming Lun 01/06/2020 03:58 AM
No words from your after my first email??
And so I decided to take it more seriously and report the phishing to outlook but they don't ask any info or anything. There is something else to do to avoid this disturbing messages?

How do I report bitcoin extortion? Does bitcoin have an abuse address? Or do I report it to law enforcement? Which agency?

I received a text in my messaging that said what others have, to send $1000 in bit coin or be exposed. It was from a yahoo email account and I didn't think to save it.

I just got an email saying to give them 700 in btc or they would send a video of me
watching pornography To my contacts

I received two of these emails within two minutes; they went directly to my Junk folder. Same routine, but they didn't post any passwords they claimed to have stolen; they just said they had video of me doing something (which they misspelled)...very clever of them, since I DON'T HAVE A WEBCAM OR ANY VIDEO DEVICE on my computer. What a load. It's not even worth bothering to lodge a complaint.

Got this same thing. Don't believe it for a second. The password they told me is so old that I'm not even sure if it's still in play but I guess, I'll need to find out.

Hi have received 4 of these emails now. The latest with my correct password stayed in the body of the email.

I received three of these in five or six days. I deleted them.

I received three of these emails. Deleted w no action.

Got one yesterday, allready tought it was scam. Reading this gave me the answer i needed to be sure!

Whew! Glad I found this page! I just spent the last 1 1/2 hours researching the internet to determine if the bitcoin blackmail email I received, saying it had access to my account, could be legitimate as far as having access to my account. I wasn't worried about the alleged blackmail video because, even assuming they could access my webcam, all they would've seen was me working all live long day - ha! But I did worry about the alleged "access to my computer" all the same. Glad I finally found this FTC alert!

I had the same exact experience. I just changed some financial and healthcare institution passwords and reported the email to the FTC and the fbi because I find the attempt to be thoroughly aggravating.

I was getting these in April. Filed a complaint on this site. Just got another one. This time when I move it to the spam folder, another appears in my inbox!!

I have been getting dozens of these emails every day for over a month.

Asked to send btc to this wallet: 1DnqEzkdk7J1R5vURQx9cuQkpqQbUd1VSC

I just got one yesterday from a New York number. It said "Hey" twice then I sent a picture back of me flipping him off, blocked the number and then deleted the message.

I got 3 of these at once in my spam folder. Oddly, I have had a surge of spam messages after recently ordering online from Home Depot. I would very much like to know who they are selling my info to.

I received a similar blackmail scam email today with a password I used over 10 years ago. I don't even remember what account I used it for and I haven't used it for anything since.

There have been several very large data breaches in the past few years and I know for a fact I’ve been part of one or two of them. I’ve received 3 of these emails in the past month or so. From what I read it’s a scam. Just change ALL your passwords and you should be ok.

Wen changing your password(s) using multiple sites, be careful. Try to figure out what site(s) the password came from. If you change all of your passwords the scammer may have access to the breached sites AND now knows the passwords to all of your sites.

Here's an idea: For sites containing valuable personal information (banking sites, sites that use ANY part of a social security number, credit card sites, etc) use strong passwords with at least TWO special characters in the password. Also use different passwords for each site. Yes, it's a pain remembering different passwords, but you will be happy if you are ever hacked or is someone does get your passwords.

I received the same email today. Wanted me to send $1900 in bitcoin or the will share the video with my contacts.

I just received one of these today. I received one a couple of years ago using the same password (old yahoo password, I think). I changed it back then. The scammers must be using an old database.

I just received one of these emails and it used a password I've never even used before.

I recieved one of these emails today. They had a password that was used on an account back in 2008. I have 24 hours to pay $1900 to bitcoin. Thanks to this article, I will not be paying anything. But I will be updating my passwords and changing my spam filter.

Got one today from ixwpenelopeof@outlook.com....it was a variation of ones I received a couple weeks ago.

Received 2 emails now threatening I have been being watched on my webcam and that they know my passord and will send pics out to all contacts if I do not send bitcoin.It says Recorded You and has this as senders email Master84@

I always laugh because I don't have a webcam!

I got one 2 days ago. It was lengthy and graphic and gave 24 hours to pay 2000 bitcoins. Judging from the (old) password used in the subject field, they got my email from a data breach at a company for which I free-lanced a few years ago. The idea of them disseminating cooking and quilting videos to my contacts gave me a good laugh.

I just received one - had 24 rs to pay 3K in bitcoin or would post post sex videos etc. had a password...Disturbing to say the least. I am filing a report to the FTC now.

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