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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 received this email today, and like some of you, I got freaked out! The request amount was $520. However, I am relieved to know it is a scam. Needless to say, I have changed my passwords.

I keep getting these. The password that was used on one of these was from 2008-2013. This time I had 50 hours to comply with an amount of 700.00.

I got the same email.

FTC web admin: instead of linking this (email bitcoin scam) article to the generic complaint page, how about linking it to the correct form for reporting a problem like this one?

Just got one today. Went into Spam. Only noticed as I was looking for a Doctor e-mail. Sent report to FBI & so on. Do to my e-mail account, they think I'm a dude.. happens a lot but tipped me off they have no much info on me, more so since they stated they have vid of me. If they did, they would know I'm not a dude.

I seem to have received a similar email somewhere about a month ago with similar details. Though I did not click it and I only discovered it now by checking spam folders, I know for a fact the password mentioned is not my current email password (bruh moment). I received the email from a person named "Andrew Turner".

I received one the other day and one a month or two ago, threatening to tell my contacts about all the porn sites I had visited and show them a video they had taken of me , they had part of a password too. Deleted immediately, they think we’re all gullible fools:

I received an email in August that I didn't check out until yesterday, of something similar to the new ones. The weird thing is, I don't use my webcam for anything other than Zoom, and I don't remember signing up for any adult websites with the password the hacker mentioned (might have been hacked by a second hacker). The amount was somewhere in the thousands, but I never paid it (because I saw the email about a month too late and also I don't know how bitcoin works) and no action has been done related to the blackmail, so no footage was sent (as far as I know). I don't know how to report to the FBI while still keeping privacy

I got the same email almost word for word asking for bitcoin on October 2019, and I didn't see it until I was clearing my spam folder today September 2020. The email stated that they installed a Trojan in my OS that can pick up any change in passwords, and that I have 48 hours to give them money and that the “clock“ starts as soon as I open the email. Is that even possible? Can only opening an email start any "countdown"?

I got the same like

Hëllo!

í'm thе prоgrãmmêr whô háckеd întô yóùr dеvìce's õS.

î'vê beën оbsërving yоú fôr wеeks now.
Thé thìng ïs, yòû'vë bêén infectêd wïth malwarë thrôûgh thé âdúlt wèbsìtê yöu vïsítëd. in cãsе yòú'rе nòt fаmilïår wîth ît, ï'll expläïn. Thè Trõján virüs gìvés më fùll âccêss ànd còntról övêr yоür còmputër оr ány ôther dêvicè õn yöur lõcal.
ìt implîês thât i cãn séê êvêrythìng ón yoúr scrêén, túrn on my camêrã ànd mícróphònê, bút yoù do nõt knöw áboût ît. ì àlso hàvê accêss tо ãll yоür còntäcts, socïâl nétwórking dâtá ând ãll yòûr córrespöndencê. Why didn't yôür äntîvïrüs dеtèct ány mãlwàrè? ânswеr: My målwarë úsès å drìvеr, í úpdáte ïts sìgnãturés ëvêry 4 hоürs tо kêep yõür äntîvìrûs sílent.
î hâvе mádе å vìdèó shöwing hôw yòü sätisfy yõursêlf ón the léft sïde ôf thè scrëеn, аnd òn thê ríght sídè yóu sêê thé vïdеö yòù hávе gót wаtchïng. Wìth õnе clíck, ì càn sënd thìs vidëo tô àll yõür côntácts wìthin thë maíl ánd sóciâl nëtwõrks. ï cân álsò dìstrìbúte áccess tò all yôúr emàils ånd mеssågîng apps thät yoù ûsé.

if yоú wànt tо prévént thîs, åt thàt põint: Sënd $450(uSD) tô my bitcôìn wållèt (în cãsë yòû dô not knоw how tó dö ìt, then typе ìn tò Gòöglé: "Pûrchasé ã bîtcоin"). My Bìtcóín Wällèt: d45jRXK1n7 UUFy9BheQF nJrQTJgw3cYZ
aftèr gëttîng thе påymènt, ì wíll destròy thë vìdêõ and yöù won't hëär fróm mê àgаín. s) tó pày.
í sêë yõû'ré rèаdíng thìs èmåîl ãnd thê timеr stârted yóù ôpеnëd ît.

Timеr ìd: 71113093

Dó nоt try tô rеply me. ît dòësn't mäkе ány sеnsè (thë séndêr's ãddréss ìs genëràtеd åûtоmätïcálly).
Fìlíng a cömplåïnt sömëwhèrë döèsn't mаkë sënse, bècaúsê thís еmaïl cаnnõt be trãckêd, ànd néithër cån my bîtcòïn addrëss.
î dón't mаkе místàkès.

ìf i find that yòù shãrèd thïs mèssаgé wíth sômèbõdy èlsé, thê vïdèõ will bë dïstribûted ïmmédïãtèly.
Goõd lûck wïth thät.

I received an email exactly like this on August 16, 2020.

I also received such e-mails (2 of them) one right after the other today (10 Sept 2020). The subject showed a password of mine which I used many years ago. The pattern is the same: I should pay a sum into Bitcoin otherwise they would spread a video.

Omg , guys ((( someone emailed me today saying that they have access to my phone Camera and microphone and all the pictures and texts and if I don’t pay them they give me 50 h after the email was opened to send them money and if I don’t they will start sending my personal info to my friends . They said the timer started when I opened the email . I deleted the email , after everything . Can anyone have access to the phone camera and video and watch me . They mentioned some trojan virus They sent to my phone or something like that to watch me .

I got the same email today with the bitcoin demand for 1067$ .... wondering if the threats actually came true for anyone here who received such emails?

I am getting those emails with some old passwords that leaked in the past (and I am not using anymore)

I am trying to report to the police, but I can't find any link into FBI website or any local police website

Omg I also just got the same email. I had a heart attack at first but then came across this post.

i got this same email today, the exact same sentences, but asking for $1079

I received similar email last May 2020 in my Yahoo email account. Thank you for bringing this up. Where will I report it?

I received exact same mail as many here posted. Needless to say, I do visit adult web sites from time to time and I did panic for a minute or to.
Thank you all for this page that insured me not to pay anything to the scammers. I was not going to but still...
Anyway, I can not file any complaint from Croatia, but I just wanted to leave the comment to all you good people.

Got two the other day, from two 'different' people, demanding $1000 each, ended up in spam, only noticed a few days later. The same text as received by everybody else. But did freak me out initially, glad I found the information here!

I received the same threat about circulation of videos related to adult websites. This was on September 16, by two dirìfferent addresses. Both included the same password, as a proof that they could hack my account. I recognized the password, but I cannot remember where I used it. Please advise.

I got the same email on the 21st of September.

Just received in my Spam folder the same email as posted in these comments. The email ending up in Spam should have been my first clue. I value privacy a great deal, so any message indicating someone might have access to my information really freaks me out; after a moderate panic attack, I’m relieved to see this is a well known scam. Now I’m off to change every single password I can get to...

Thankfully I know better than to pay these people, feel horrible for those who fell for this.

I received two exact emails two weeks ago from 2 different emails, I freaked out but after reading all this I can say my heart is at peace now. Where do I report this. It got to stop!!!

I recieved a similar email on 09/22/20, I was shocked to see they had a password that I was still using as a Windows login password on a laptop, I had used this same password on multiple internet sites in the past but have changed them over the years, not sure if there's it's still hanging around out there or not. The email I recieved followed the script in this blog, but unlike some of the other's I've read it was very well written, precise english grammar. Claimed that they had hacked my computer, taken control of my camera and microphone and video taped me while viewing pornographic material on the internet, they also claimed the gathered all my contacts and would send the video to all of them unless I paid $1700US in bitcoin within 48 hours, eventually posting the video on the internet. They gave some sort of bitcoin address, and instructions on how to find bitcoin and learn to use it on the internet. I won't sit here and say I've never watched porn on the internet, I certainly have, I've done nothing illegal, my laptop does have a camera, so if there is spyware out there that allows these extorsionists to take control of your computers resources then it may be possible they can collect video, I don't know. I deleted the email and have still been worrying about it even though I found this blog.

I got one too. I deleted the gmail account and opened a new one. It was in my spam folder. I blocked the person before deleting the account.
It was not an important email , one I used when places make you give an email address to look at their site like Wayfair.

Anyway, that’s what I did.

Mine came from
Walker kottkeconstruction1

I got one a couple of days ago too, I get them every year on my school account saying that they have my password which is my password but I don't use that password anymore and it's identical to everyone else's so this must be one person or multiple copying and pasting and scaring people out of their money like sickos.

I received this same email. It gave me anxiety at first and I started downloading virus protection to my phone to make sure that my phone is not actually compromised. Scammers are stupid.

Same here people, got one 8 hours ago, the amount is the only difference.

I got the same email yesterday. Turned out he had managed to hack into an old FB account I handn't used in years. I thought I had the account deleted but I guess not. FB has locked the account too so I cannot get in to do anything about it.
He's got an old password but he's missed a few things. Bitcoin is not legal in my state, I have duct tape over all my webcams so there's no video of me, and I just got this laptop recently and I bought it used on Ebay so if there is any video from my laptop it's the previous owners . At first glance, getting an email like this is scary but stop and think about it. You'll find the loopholes that they miss.

I recently got an email and one of my passwords was in the subject bar. The issue is, that password one for a lot of accounts. I know, dumb, but it was simpler that way. What do I if I don't know what which account they are referring to? Or do I just ignore the whole ordeal?

I’ve gotten at least 5 of these emails today! Made the mistake of reading the first one ... ugh! DO NOT OPEN Or READ!

Got the same email today, September 28th, 2020. So it’s still going around. I knew immediately it had to be a scam but it still makes the heart race for a minute.

Received same note as everyone else, verbatim. Except they asked for $1013 or something close to that amount. Ruined my morning until I started putting the pieces together and realizing that it must be a scam. Thanks FTC!

i just received this same email, thing is the password he showed me was a password from 8 years ago i mean it was probably one of my first passwords so I'm not really worried but i did receive a 2nd email with a pic attachment.. i didn't open it i just deleted both emails.

I just got this email today from two different people. Quite scary and I had been searching to see if my phone camera may have been hacked as that is my main device. They sent an old password of mine as well.

I got an email Tuesday & it’s said everything listed above, but they added that they have logged into my Facebook and when I looked , it might’ve been logged into but I don’t think so

For anyone worrying, I got the exact same email word for word last Thursday & ignored it and nothing has happened. Yes it did have a password that I used for everything in the past but no longer use it for most things, changed the last account I used it for now. Nothing to worry about, change your passwords & please don’t send them money!!

Yea I also got the email but mine said I have 50 hours and the timer starts when I open the email

I received the basic e-mail as above and mentioned that it knew i was pleasuring myself and had video of me doing it.
Thing is - it came almost immediately after I was dong what it said I was doing.
Wanted $ 950 and the e-mail came to my work e-mail which really got me worried.
You first think , how did it turn on my video camera and/or how did it know I was doing what it said. Have received it 2 times about a week apart and it gave me week to pay each time .

So i got this email yesterday telling me to pay 1000 dollar lol about 1 of my leaked password that was done 3 years ago lol my email is safe now they have nothing to do just updated your password and always check if your email password has been leaked

I received the same today, could you advise me if anyone got impacted or what I should do?

I got the same exact email quoted in the older comments down below, plus a ton of additional emails from various scammers about similar things. They got my current gmail address and an old password of that gmail account correct. So, there must have been gmail data breach at some point long ago, and they got that information. Fortunately, I had long since changed that password, and I have gmail's second sign in protection, so even if they had my current password, they would still need access to my cell phone to get the pin number for the second sign in procedure. I would personally never pay anyone anything like a ransom. They can email all my contacts and I would not care. But, I would NOT want them to have access to my gmail account because they could get some very sensitive information on my other accounts, like banking, credit cards, etc. So, it is a very good idea to change your password frequently, and to check your email accounts location history to see where it has been signed in recently, just to make sure no one else has access to your account. I think with the second sign in feature, they would have a very difficult time doing much with your password. I need to start changing all my passwords on banking and credit card websites as well. I just have a hard time to keeping track of all these things. I did turn on alerts notifications on my bank and credit card websites so that they alert me by text message and email whenever someone (including me) accesses those accounts or does anything on them. So, if someone started using them, I would know right away be able to shut them down by calling the bank or credit card company immediately.

I know ******** is one of your password on day of hack..
Lets get directly to the point.

Not one person has paid me to check about you.
You do not know me and you're probably thinking why you are getting this email?
in fact, i actually placed a malware on the adult vids (adult porn) website and you know what, you visited this site to experience fun (you know what i mean).

When you were viewing videos, your browser started out operating as a RDP having a key logger which provided me with accessibility to your display and web cam.
immediately after that, my malware obtained every one of your contacts from your Messenger, FB, as well as email account.
after that i created a double-screen video. 1st part shows the video you were viewing (you have a nice taste omg), and 2nd part displays the recording of your cam, and its you.

Best solution would be to pay me $1042.

We are going to refer to it as a donation. in this situation, i most certainly will without delay remove your video.

My -BTC -address: 1MbumcLtt2dnUXHfcRpax66P5YToJpUdew
[case SeNSiTiVe, copy & paste it]

You could go on your life like this never happened and you will not ever hear back again from me.
You'll make the payment via Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search 'how to buy bitcoin' in Google).

if you are planning on going to the law, surely, this e-mail can not be traced back to me, because it's hacked too.
I have taken care of my actions. i am not looking to ask you for a lot, i simply want to be paid.

if i do not receive the bitcoin;, i definitely will send out your video recording to all of your contacts including friends and family, co-workers, and so on.

Nevertheless, if i do get paid, i will destroy the recording immediately.

If you need proof, reply with Yeah then i will send out your video recording to your 8 friends.

it's a nonnegotiable offer and thus please don't waste mine time & yours by replying to this message.

I just got one of these emails a few days ago and it was in my spam, I already know it’s a scam and I always have my camera on my computer taped off, and I can also see the green light if or when my camera is being used.... so therefore I don’t know how they would of gotten this “video” and all the contact info from the people that I know. One thing that blows my mind is how they got one of my outdated passwords I haven’t used in a while.

I got an email similar to this but for some strange reason, it had my name on it instead of any password? Would that mean it was something I used to connect my fb to??? For one thing the "password" is far too short to really be accepted anywhere and for another, I don't use my name in any passwords I've ever used?

I received one of these types of scam emails on 7/20/2020, but just now reading it. It was a relief to come and see it is bogus. I am concerned that they have access to my email account though, since I got an "unusual sign on activity" notice the day before and the same day. I usually ignore these because when I login from gym or somewhere else I get these alerts. I can never figure out how to identify these though, as I use vpn service.

scammer didn't know that while watching porn i used to put gum on the webcam as a precaution

I received the same email today, haven't used the password in 10 years at the least. Figured it was a scam.

I have received the same email with exactly the same wording but for 1042$. I really panicked and am still. Did they contact you guys again, did they do anything that they are claiming because it’s a matter of reputation and many things. What should I do now, should I be worried and I can’t afford to pay that much money. Please someone help me with this issue.

Have you received anything else from this email? I just got the same exact email last night.

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