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Cryptocurrency blackmail scam alert

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The email suddenly appears in your inbox. Someone is writing to say that they have access to your cell phone or your computer. And they’re about to make your sensitive videos, pictures, or compromising information public. Pay them money (a ransom), they say, using a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, and they won’t expose the truth.

Have you gotten one of these emails? If so, you’re not alone. The email is a part of a cryptocurrency blackmail scam that’s been popping up for a while. But last month, the FTC saw another uptick in the number of reports of this scam.

We’ve said it before, but it’s always worth repeating. The person behind these emails is a scammer. Don’t pay him. He’s using threats, intimidation, and high pressure tactics to trick you out of your money. And while the scammer may say that he knows about an alleged affair, a video, or something else that could embarrass you if it was made public, it’s all fake. In fact, it’s also a criminal extortion attempt. Which is why it’s really important that you report this type of scam to the FBI, right away. And once you do, remember to tell the FTC, too, at ftc.gov/complaint.

Tagged with: cryptocurrency, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I did receive one of these. I called the real company to ask and they assured me it was likely a scam. I didn't open, nor did I respond. But it's good to know we should report these to the FBI and FCC. Thanks for the information.

I get these at work all the time. They claim to have watched me do naughty things via webcam on my computer.

The joke's on them... my work computer doesn't even HAVE a webcam.

To the spam pile they will go
They will go
They will go
To the spam pile they will go
My dumb spammer

It's interesting to see how many of there are who have gotten these kind of emails. I received my first one sometime around Nov 2019. They told me not to call the police, not to forward the email to anyone because they would know the moves I made and that they would destroy everything on my pc. They wanted me to send money. There have been 2 other ones that I can remember. The first one had me worried, the last 2 I just deleted. I never clicked on any links, and never replied to them. But I also did not report them to anyone. I will have to try to remember to do that should it happen again.

Beware!!!!
1). Don't trust anything that's free !!
2). Don't ever give them any personal info over phone, text or email!!!!!
3). never send money or gift cards! (gift cards are a huge sign it's fake!)
These scams/ers are pernicious and the perpetrators of just plain mayhem, evil & mean spiritedness.
Hey FTC, why isn't there a better way to find these scammers out and stop them "before" they strike -- not after ! Moreover, the consequences must also be more swift to adequately deter them. These crooks & cowards have no common decency or a bone of integrity... it's like navigating through a constant barrage of land mines at every turn. Very sad state of affairs what the internet has become. Not at all fun.

This has happened to me twice, but I did not notify the FBI or FTC. I did report it as phishing and blocked the site(s) as these came in. I made sure I didn't open them as it appeared to be ludicrous. These tend to come up in junk and are slightly better worded than the "Nigerian Prince left you $6 million in gold" things of the days of yore. The other thing I've noticed is that I receive "free sample" emails and actual products in the mail, (the phone messages have increased as well). I keep handwritten copies of passwords and change the quarterly or more often if I feel a site has been compromised. From now on, I'll notify the appropriate agencies when I receive these types of threats and cyber-intrusions.

I too have received multiple emails like these. My threat includes an old password I no longer use; I figured out it was a password I had used on Netflix (they had a major security breach a while back) and also LinkedIn (which I no longer use, deleted the account). I didn't bother reporting them to anyone until reading these FTC emails. Glad to know at least someone is working on this garbage!

I just received one of these saying I had 24 hrs from the moment I opened the email to send $450 btc or they would sell access to my financial accounts, etc. They "prove" access to my pc and phone by giving my user name and current password to several things. I admit it scares me because this is a password still in play. Other than change passwords immediately, should I be worried?

It is not a scam it is blackmail plain and simple, a major crime they are getting away with if no one takes action to arrest them and their money launderers!.

My internet has been down for the last few days and am just reading this now. Portion of a password and bitcoin threat. But I knew they had no idea who I was since they referred to anatomy that I don't possess.

I have received three of these, blocked the first two, third came in two days ago. Now I have info on how to report this garbage. I did R click over the Sender button and there was a mass or re-routs undoubtedly designed to keep the sender anonymous. Following through is way above any skills I possess. If another pops up, I'll send it to the FBI/FTC. No one should be treated this way, and the individual(s), should be exposed as they threaten to expose others.

Yes this happened to me. In the subject line they used my Facebook Password. I immediately changed my password and tagged the email as spam.

I received a text saying they had my information and because I did not respond, they proved their point by depositing a check by mobile deposit into my bank account. They proceeded to do that 21 more times and had me send the first 2 as bitcoin through cashapp. I have no idea how they got my information but they sure did have exactly what they said. My bank did not catch it and I could not report it because it was done over the holiday weekend. Now I have lost my bank account of 20 years and apparently owe the bank $4100. I have absolutely no way of coming up with that kind of money and I have no resources. These folks know their stuff.

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