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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

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.

Just got this today they want $3,000 except the password they said they had is a 15 number Password which I would never have used who could remember that

Has anyone here ever actually had these threats turn into reality? Do these scammers ever carry thru with their threats and make these videos public?

I got a email like this beginning week it said to send 3,000 and it had that bitcoin symbol if I didn't send it said they would expose webcam pics. Oh really don't have any I deleted the email how can I block these scam emails.

You can't really block them because they use a different spoofed email address each time. Even if you block one address, the next one would just come in from another address.

I've been getting these randomly for a couple of years, and of course ignore them. They usually appear in my spam folder anyhow.
But the last week or two, the amount of spam with this message has increased alarmingly! Almost to the point that one might say its a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS).
The last week I have received HUNDREDS of these messages in my spam folder. The contents are identical, but each sender usually has a fake email name differing by a couple of digits.
Obviously generated by some spambot.
It is perhaps a virus that is being spread around, with a target address such as mine.

I got this I Recorded You email that included my old password four times yesterday. The return address is Mastr Zlux with number that change with every email. Fortunately, it went to my alternate email that I rarely use, and I have since changed the password on the email account.

I recieved an email yesterday 6/12/20

I received a similar email. Something of bitcoins and that they supposedly generated a backup of my files and stuff like that. They demanded $500 to keep this so called secret, whatever that may be. Unfortunately, for them I’m no fool.

I randomly checked my spam emails and saw a message from eleven days ago with the subject, "I RECORDED YOU!" and the body of the message starting with, "Hey, I know one of your password is: ********* I'm a hacker and program..." and I can't see the rest since I didn't click on it. I'm guessing, after reading all of these similar experiences, that they threatened to expose a video of me looking up adult websites or something? Since I know that's not true, I'm not worried. I am curious, however, as to which website they got that password from, even though it's one that I specifically use for website accounts that I know aren't important/don't contain important information - so joke is on them :)

I got another porno scam recently. The last data breach, according to my security app says was in 2012 from monster.com. This scam email asks for 3K in bitcoin and gives a wallet QR Code. The email text is not the same font from beginning to end but the English isn't particularly that poor. Hope you can catch them.

How do they send me emails FROM my own email address?! Anyone else have this problem with only an old att or sbc global account?

I got one also. scared me until I found this. I deleted the email cause I didn’t want that in my emails. But I reported the address before I did.

Hi everyone, I keep on getting these emails too. I have reported 2 to the FTC and I am still getting these. I also reported them to spoof at Microsoft as they were coming from Outlook. The emails stopped for a while, but now they are back again. I am thinking of closing down that email account and going to another account as these emails are very disturbing. The latest did not say Outlook so I think they are coming from somewhere else now. They keep on giving different names all the time. Then I looked up the names and they are nowhere to be found online. Also they always come at the beginning of the week and the end of the week. I am going to keep reporting them and hope someone prosecutes these frauds.

I've gotten three of these emails in the last month. Each came to the email address and specified the password I used with a Shell credit card account issued by Citi over 10 years ago. There were a number of big credit card data breaches at Citi in about 2010. I cancelled the card at about that time. The important thing is to use a different password for each of your accounts.

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