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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

Comments

I have been getting these periodically since October 2018. I traced the password they had to an account I used only for a couple of weeks in 2006(!) on the job posting website Monster.com. That is the only account in which I used the password the scammers had. I had to laugh--each time I received the email threat to send their alleged video to my contact list if I didn't pay up, the amount of the "ransom" was smaller!

Today, May 14, 2020, I received a scam to pay Bitcon in the amount of $2000 within one hour; otherwise, it will publish my purported porn. It had one my passwords, which meant this password of mine had been exposed. Will change password of website and email, and had deleted the fraud email by "Mono".

I got the same one today, but 24 hours to comply. Filed FTC report. The password they had is a very old one and I make new passwords up all the time. For anyone who is reading this thread, It's a good idea to change your passwords regularly if you don't already.

I got the same one yesterday. What is an FTC report? I forwarded to Comcast's Abuse@ comcast.

I also got an email today stating the same thing.

I know ( Password)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 $1082.
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: 1JFYdq9QQJYUih6YmP2aHtU82RkLewHZ5Q
[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.

What should file a complaint under?
Please advise..

I got this as well. Looks like the hackers get people's passwords by simply searching any of the numerous data breach databases available on criminal forums.

I panicked at first but being in IT I read the entire email and it seemed very suspicious obviously including the wording used. I changed all my accounts using the password that was compromised.

I know (password) 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 $1050.

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: 14GYvZHr5dCoVLK3jqW98zFeT5AVBpWsBG
[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.

same!

same here, i got one with the exact amount and everything

i got this same email today, the exact same sentences, but asking for $1015

I got the exact same email. Verbatim.

i recently just received that same exact spam email acouple days ago.

I received this exact same email! Pretty much word for word! What did you end up doing????
I had a small panic attack when i first saw it

Got the exact same one word for word. Just reported it. Same situation and very grateful people took the time to write this up and inform the public on where to report it. Just imagine all the people who freak out and just respond with the demands in haste.

I also panicked but It was exactly word for word as yours

Yeah i had one too, btw i remembered that i only watch comics sooo

I got the same email a few days ago. At first I freaked out because the password was something I had used before but then I went to search about this because my parents are very serious when it comes to online security. And then saw it was happening to other people. I checked all my passwords to make sure I wasn’t using that one in specific anymore even though I was almost sure and changed a few just in case.

One thing I would recommend to anyone receiving this type of emails is to check for old mails like verifications of some website accounts. I say this because sometimes we leave “ghost” accounts on several places that can have the same password and some personal information. If you aren’t using them, best to delete the accounts.

I got the same exact email. Word by word demanding 1000$ in bitcoins . I filed a complaint under other stating i was contacted on email.

I received the same email four days back and I am ignoring it. I updated all my app's password and I know nothing will happen. Fun part is I am a cyber crime attorney and I am getting this phising mails.

I got the exact same email word for word on August 15th.

I got the same exact email word for word on 8/20...

I've received two in the last two week! I haven't used that password in YEARS.

Same thing, exactly same text

I got this one today .. word for word but they wanted $1014 from me. Very old password. I tried to submit to FTC.gov/complaint but kept saying invalid email. Tomorrow I will notify local police which
Of course will do nothing.

I just got a similar email asking me for $700 but they neither gave any proof of the video or even that they hacked me in the first place, as well as the fact they sent the email to an old hardly used email. All they told me is they have access to my operating system and my account. I have since downloaded an antivirus and scanned my computer and phone multiple times with no issues. I don't know if the antivirus will tell me if I've been already hacked before, but I ended up not doing anything about the email.

Hi. I got the same exact email word for word. What should I do? I got a panic attack and happen to stumble upon this website with the list of all your comments and feel a little relieved that I’m not the only one receiving the email. The hacker hasn’t done anything to any of you right?

Same here. Just received same email demand. Damn, wish I had found that site!!!

Just received a lengthy one:
I will include it in the body of this reply:

Stating they have a recording of me... They will expose me to my contacts... Very Graphic commentary

From Ivy:
with this was the only thing I could copy from the email

1No891GFjCNU*F9hyR4WqJj7ti5gsSnbjmw

I have received a 2nd message in two days similar to all of these $3000 on bitcoin or else a video of me by spyware will be released to all my contacts fb and cell. One difference for me is that my threat is from text message by 2 different numbers.

I received one from text message on 5/24/20. Is this the new twist in this scam since the majority, if not all, of the reports out there involve email not text.

I was sent the same message to my phone as well. Figured it was a scam but still scary. Thanks for sharing. Hope these people have left you alone.

I just received this exact threat in an email form.

I received an email on the exact same day as you. I feel so much better that It's not a real thing. Never seen attempts like this before. I'll be using Lastpass for everything now.

I just received the same one. Very graphic.

Yes it is pretty crazy they do that. If your password is linked to your email it can send out a random text with any messages trying to extort you.

I received exactly the same email Sat 25 Jul 20 demanding payment in Dollars otherwise they will "release" my video to all my contacts and destroy my life! I have been receiving these emails on and off since last year. Strangely my password they mention in their email hasn't been used since 2005. Very disturbing and upsetting experience indeed.

I received a threatening email on July 25th as well and another one today. I read the first but only a couple of sentences of the second. .They didn’t even get my name right. I spent time securing all passwords. All my devises have malware protection. Keep in mind we pay for our devises and for our plans. These parasites are trying to leach off us. Do not let these thieves take anything from you. I was rattled because the hacker was able to get into accounts and place a few orders. Watch your cell phone account. The low life ordered an expensive iPhone. It was delivered to my house and 15 minutes later fed ex showed up with a pick up order to ship the phone I paid for, on a plan I paid for as well. There is a special place in hell for these disguising scammers.

I received THREE e-mails for bitcoins and I filed complains with FTC.

Did the FTC respond? What action was taken against the perpetrator, if any?

I freaked out when I first got one of these emails, submitted a full report to the FTC. 10 days later I got an email reply basically saying, "We reviewed your report and think this article may help you." And it was a link to their article about spam, which I had already read. And they didn't say anything else. Not very reassuring if you ask me. I'd like to assume they don't always do almost nothing about it. Since this scam is so large and ongoing I'm betting SOMETHING is being done to track them down, or at least I hope so.

My husband received two emails in this scam. One with the original threat and demanding a Bitcoin payment, a second came with a final demand and giving him a very short response time. I so appreciate the information put out by FTC. We were real concerned about the inclusion of a password and had no idea how the scammers got it. Your information helped tremendously.

I got a similar email containing my face book password. It creeped me out.

I received the same threat - once on 4/25 and another on 4/27.

I received the same treath - once on 5/13 and another one on 5/16

Just rec'd the "bitcoin scam" email yesterday and knew it was fake due to its inacurate comments. I forwarded it to spoof@.... not having any other address to send it. I will try to resend it to your email noted in this warning. Thank you....E. Salerno

For those receiving suspicious emails it would be great if you had a forward to email , this would also give you their header information. If they think folks are so dumb they will go it, they surely won't think they will be able to read the header info.

If you report it at www.FTC.gov/Complaint, you can copy & paste the email and header into the report. When you report, there's a place to tell us what happened in your own words. That's where you can copy & paste the message. Thanks.

After I click on "Complaint" what's the next place to click - there are none specific to "BitCoin?" AND thank you for this information

I reported mine under SPAM, that's for unsolicited and fraudulent emails. Also, if you opened the email and saw how much in bitcoin they're asking you to send to them, when you fill out the report, it'll ask, "Did you lose money?" Hopefully, your answer is no. In which case it'll switch the question to, "Were you asked to pay or send money? If so, how much?" Even though they ask you to pay them in bitcoin they are still asking you to spend money to send it to them. So for example, when I got these emails they wanted $800 in bitcoin, so put in the report that you were asked to send $800 and you can explain in the report they wanted that in bitcoin.

Shoot, I didn't include the email in my complaint yesterday...can I add it? Or do I need to submit a new one?

that message box doesn't allow enough characters to include the raw message - some of the header data fields are extremely long strings of code

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