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Is the Porn Blackmail Scam Real?

by on March 12, 2018
in Computer Safety & Support, News, Computers and Software, Blog :: 419 comments

What would you do if you received an email from someone claiming to have hacked your computer and recorded you via your webcam while you were engaged in watching porn, then threatening to send the video to everyone in your email and social media contact lists if you don’t pay a $260 ransom? Would you pay the ransom? Even if you’ve never viewed porn, what if they made the same threat to reveal the private details of all your emails?

This is exactly the situation some of our readers found themselves in recently, and they contacted us for help on how to proceed.

Here is an example of one the emails [grammatical errors left intact]:

Good Morning my friend. I represent the group of web criminals in Iran. I use this mail address because we think that you will check it. Few times ago my team put the virus on web-site with porn and as far as you clicked on a play button your system started shooting your screen and activating camera to capture you self-abusing. Eventually I mean you understand what compromising evidence Ive earned. Moreover, this software made your device act as dedicated server with plenty of functions like keylogger, parser etc. To sum up, my software picked all data, especially all your contacts from messengers, e-mails, social networks. If you wanna make me silent you must make a transaction of 260 dollars with bitcoin. 1K2auXQEKz7Ro8cRa2xr3bAPV2n6KT5vi1 You must use it as usual credit card number. If you send bitcoins nobody will see your shame. Watch youtube manuals about methods of buing BTC... I can offer you this exchanger: localbitoins.com.  If you have a problem with this, you can search comfortable ATM for bitcoin at coin atm radar. I give you no more than twenty four hours since you read our message to pay. You can complain cops, but they can not find us I use bot network, and of course we live abroad. If you want us to show proofs we will share it to seven mates from your data after that you will be given their contacts. So you will ask them if something strange was received about you. For some questions just reply. Dont be fullish, AmAZinGcRackeR$.

Scary, right? And there have been instances where victims’ computers were hacked, they were filmed in various states of undress (or worse) and then blackmailed that may make this threat seem all too real. But there are several indications that this is nothing more than a phishing scam, hoping to rope in active porn watchers with false threats (an easy demographic to target via mass email given that the world’s largest porn site, Pornhub.com, gets 75 million visitors PER DAY).

First, there is nothing in the email that demonstrates they know anything personally about you: it’s not addressed to you by name and there’s no detail about what site you supposedly visited and when. Nor did they supply a screenshot of the “self-abusing” they allege to have captured. In fact, they are explicitly discouraging you from asking for proof, by threatening to share said “proofs” with your “mates” if you ask. That is completely contrary to how we would expect a real hacker/blackmailer to act – if I wanted to scare the bejesus out of you to get you to pay, the first thing I would do is show you a compromising screen capture to prove that this is very, very real.

Another red flag is that when our readers ran scans using antimalware tools, no malware was detected. Antimalware tools aren’t perfect, but the better ones should have picked up the type of remote administration tool (RAT) described in the email.

Searching the web, there are reports of people receiving similar email scams, going back at least to last fall. The wording of the email varies, including where the scammers claim they’re from, the nature of their threat and the amount of money being demanded. Some people are falling for them, but fortunately not many. I researched a selection of the bitcoin accounts used in these scams and none of the emails had duped more than a handful of victims.

Unfortunately, these scams will likely continue and morph into new threats as the ubiquity of bitcoin makes it easier for scammers to hide behind these accounts and for victims to pay.

So, if you get one of these emails, should you pay the ransom before all your friends find out what you’ve been up to?

The answer is no, don’t be “fullish”.

[EDITOR'S NOTE 7/12/18: A number of people have posted in the comments that they received a version of the email which includes a real password they've used in the past. Does this mean that they should be concerned? The answer is No and Yes. No, you shouldn't be concerned that your computer was hacked and you were actually filmed watching porn - it's still a scam. But, yes, you should be concerned that your password has been leaked through a data breach. Security researcher Troy Hunt has uncovered more then 500 million passwords leaked through these breaches. That password in the email was likely one of them. 

If it is still an active password for you, the scam email should be a big wake up call that you need to ensure you are using unique and secure passwords for every one of your accounts. We strongly recommend a password manager like Dashlane or 1Password , which will automatically check your passwords to see if they have been revealed in a breach and help you create unique, secure ones for every site.]

[EDITOR'S NOTE 7/20/18: One reader reported receiving an attachment titled "Invoice" with the porn scam email. If you get an attachment, DO NOT OPEN IT. Email attachments are one of the primary ways hackers use to install malware on your computer, which could turn this fake malware scam into a very real one.]

[EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT EMAIL SPOOFING 10/19/18: Many readers are commenting that the porn blackmail email appears to be sent from their own email address, causing added concern the hacking claims may be real. But don't be fooled. Email spoofing has been around for long time and is relatively easy to do. Usually the message headers will reveal the true sending email address. Here's how to tell if an email has been spoofed.]

[Image credit: Man in a dark room at a computer via BigStockPhoto]



Discussion loading

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Similar problem

From Hacked on March 14, 2018 :: 5:59 am

I’ve had a similar problem but they claim I’m the one performing in the porn! I’m not the one in the porn but I have similar coloring. At first it was just annoying that I had to keep blocking different numbers and emails, but they have a lot of personal information about me that they are threatening to put on rn he dark web. Obviously it was already out there since they had it. Just a profile picture and some general information the paper would have posted. Now it’s turned into a hacking situation since they have private picture I’ve sent via iMessage to my husband! I think they’re from my husbands phone since I’ve deleted them already. I’ve changed my Apple password and started getting new emails and a new number but I’m afraid it’s not just going away. They opened a adult friend finder account in my name. Ugh how do I make it stop? Why do they even care? They haven’t even asked for money but they threatened to post a picture of my passport.

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Sounds like you're taking the right steps

From Josh Kirschner on March 14, 2018 :: 8:15 am

Change all of your passwords to strong, unique passwords for every site. And set up two-factor authentication for your email and wherever else possible. And have your husband do the same, since the photo you sent could have been taken from his iCloud account. More details: https://www.techlicious.com/tip/what-to-do-when-your-email-gets-hacked/

You can file a complaint with Adult Friend Finder asking that the account be removed. If they don’t act, file a DMCA complaint for the pictures they stole, if any (paying close attention to who actually owns the copyright to those photos - it’s usually the person who took the photo, not the person in it).

Where would they have gotten a picture of your passport? And have they proven they have it? That will give you a better sense of how much hacking has really taken place.

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I had sent a picture

From Hacked on March 15, 2018 :: 4:53 pm

I had sent a picture of my passport to my husband recently for a travel form we had to complete. The hacker did not send me a copy of the passport picture but threatened to expose it in the email and sent me a bunch of pictures that are probably on the cloud right next to the passport picture. The pictures they are using are ones I took myself or pictures they took from a porn video that has a girl that looks like me, but it’s not actually me, so I wouldn’t know who the person is that way. Also they seem to have trouble with English sometimes so it seems like they’re foreign. The website said they removed my fake account but the hacker said they’re just going to continue bothering me until I respond.

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Make sure your husband changes his passwords

From Josh Kirschner on March 15, 2018 :: 5:29 pm

Sounds like it could be your iCloud or your husband’s that was hacked, so make sure he’s changed all of his passwords, as well.

While incredibly frustrating, it’s probably best just to completely ignore them. No responding at all. Eventually, they’ll get bored and move on to richer pastures, then you can go back and clean up whatever mess they made.

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Mine has my name and refers to some entry ID

From Also Hacked on May 14, 2018 :: 10:48 am

Should I be worried? It sounds very similar to these other emails, but it mentions some date entry ID in the subject line.
Anyone else have something like this?

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I don't see why it would make a difference

From Josh Kirschner on May 14, 2018 :: 11:34 am

Does that entry ID mean anything to you? Is it something that only someone with access to your PC could know? If not, don’t worry about it. Sounds like just a trick to get you to open the email.

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Response

From Also hacked on May 14, 2018 :: 11:36 am

It doesn’t appear to mean anything to me. I will update tomorrow after the 24 hours are up.

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Hey, it happened to me

From Hacked too on May 26, 2018 :: 10:55 am

Hey, it happened to me as well. Could you tell me the update? Is it something to be worried about?

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track extortionist

From Tracker on July 01, 2018 :: 6:46 pm

Can a person tack down extortionist by reversal Ip address Then inform law enforcement. Like Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Sullivan Eldahdah
IP: 104.47.45.33
Latitude: 47 40’ 48.36” Longitude: 122 7’ 14.16"W 8642 164th Ave NE, Redmond, WA 98052
Please post your input thank you.

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It's scary!

From Also Hacked on March 14, 2018 :: 9:06 am

The email I received is similar. One thing that bothers me about it, is the email it was sent to doesn’t “refer” to my last name, but the email is addressed to me first and last name. I am not super concerned that is any video footage of me, but am concerned my phone/laptop have been hacked. I have scanner running on my laptop and always have. My phone, I didn’t but recently added phone guardian. Is there anything else I should run to make sure there isn’t malware running? Any idea how they would have gotten my last name from an email that is pretty generic (that I use for sign-ups, coupons, etc.)?

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I wouldn't be too concerned

From Josh Kirschner on March 14, 2018 :: 10:55 am

Sadly, there are a thousand ways people can get your name and email address, from hacks to site scraping to public information databases. Or one of those coupon sites could simply have sold your data off. My spam mailbox is filled with emails that use various versions of my name alongside my email address.

In any regard, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time worrying about how they get your name/email association. It’s not an indication of being hacked. Sounds like you already have anti-malware running on your devices, so sounds like you’re pretty well protected (assuming you’re using a well-known anti-malware suite?).

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Trend Micro Antivirus

From Also Hacked on March 14, 2018 :: 11:16 am

I have Trend Micro Antivirus on my MacBook. I have Panda antivirus on my PC (which I quit using about 4 months ago), but still have protection on.

I feel the least secure about my phone. I am picky with apps I put on it, but I also feel like it’s probably the easiest target. Do you have any recommendations for what I should put on an iPhone?

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Try Lookout, but your options are limited

From Josh Kirschner on March 14, 2018 :: 11:37 am

For Mac and PC, our choices would be Bitdefender, Kaspersky and Symantec (Norton), but Trend Micro is fine, too. We’re not fans of Panda because it’s malware protection is not as strong as the others, but it’s certainly much better than nothing.

The good news about iPhones is that the environment is pretty heavily locked down, and malware risks are highly diminished. This same lockdown, unfortunately, also makes it impossible for anti-malware programs to perform in-depth scans of your device and apps, so you’re completely reliant on Apple to do the work. Security apps can provide some benefits, though, such as notifications of out-of-date software and jailbreaking warnings. Lookout Security has been our favorite mobile security app generally, and its iPhone version is fine, but set your expectations accordingly for its limited features on iOS.

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A 2nd email posted to my work email

From Eileen on June 02, 2018 :: 11:18 am

I am scared. Only because they are using my first and last name, and now a 2nd similar email was sent to my work address. I keep separate devices for work and home but do access my personal email from my work laptop occasionally.  I’m ignoring it but it seems weird that I would be targeted in bot emails. Should I be worried?  I work for a top tech company with all the most up to date virus and malware security. I’m surprised the email wasn’t flagged in my junk or clutter folders.

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Why are you surprised?

From Josh Kirschner on June 03, 2018 :: 1:04 am

The whole idea of bot emails is to target as many people as possible. You’re not being targeted for any other reason than your name and email details are in some list(s), probably of credentials stolen in a data breach.

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Did anything come of this?

From Sam on July 22, 2018 :: 2:44 am

A friend of mine is in a similar situation did anything come of this afterward ??
They seem to have followed on in the second email to the Work address
Any help would be appreciated

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Scary

From Jim on March 15, 2018 :: 7:10 am

I was using my Android to surf the Internet. I visited what I now realize was likely a fake website of a real adult meet/date site. It allowed some free browsing without having to sign in.  About two weeks later, I received an email that addressed me by my first and last name. The email claimed that I visited an adult site where malware had been installed.  And, that the malware had gotten into my system (they did not specify what type of system), collected my contacts and recorded me looking at a video and what I was doing at the time.  It did not give the name of website, nor did the email include any video that they claimed to have.  It gave me three days to pay a certain amount (less than $300) through Bitcoin.  I did not pay. It has been six days since the 3-day deadline listed in the email and I haven’t heard anything. I wondered why they wouldn’t send the video up front if they really have it, which I hope is just a scare tactic.

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It's just a scare tactic

From Josh Kirschner on March 15, 2018 :: 9:41 am

The scammers know that Internet porn use is very common, so if they send out a mass email a large percentage of the people receiving it will, in fact, have viewed porn at some point in the recent past. That’s also why they use the email/contacts hack variation of the scam - everyone has email, everyone has emails they would rather keep quiet. so perfect target group.

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Blackmail sent to gfs email

From Dean m on June 05, 2018 :: 4:20 pm

My girlfriend received an email telling her to pay or they would release a video of me (they had my first and last name) masturbating.  The whole situation of them having my name but emailing her totally unassociated email address worries me a bit, any insight?

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Still bet it's a scam

From Josh Kirschner on June 06, 2018 :: 8:06 am

This is a new twist, but still sounds like a scam. It’s possible this particular scammer is somewhat smarter and has taken the time to determine who you have a close relationship with via Facebook or other social media/public records. In other words, this is a “spear phishing”, rather than phishing. It’s also possible that the breach where this data comes (email hack/breach?) from somehow connected you with your girlfriend, and the scammer is taking advantage of that.

Either way, unless they actually sent you a screen cap of the video or provided other unambiguous details that could only come from a hack, my money is still squarely on this being a scam. If you want to post the message you received (changing the name, obviously), we can take a closer look.

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Scary continued

From Jim on March 15, 2018 :: 9:30 am

I forgot to mention that I had the privacy and security package on my phone through my mobile carrier. I was using data and not on a WIFI network. I recall going to the nearest mobile carrier store and they ran a scan with the privacy and security package and it showed no threats. I believe that is correct. I think they did this before I decided to do a hard reset on my phone. At the time, I believe I still had Lookout installed on the phone, though now I have another antivirus and malware program installed by a computer store. My mobile carrier said their privacy and security package is powered by McAfee.

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Send It.

From Steveon Williams on March 15, 2018 :: 11:35 am

All of my friends know, and my co-workers probably already guess that I’m a freak like that anyway. L

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Cover your camera lens

From Rebecca Crow on March 15, 2018 :: 12:02 pm

I cover my camera lens with a bandaid so nobody can see me under any circumstances and it also protects the lens for times I want to use it for some applications.

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Agree with Rebecca

From Tyson on July 12, 2018 :: 6:33 am

I do that too, Rebecca.
I cover the camera on my laptop.

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And not to mention Facebook...

From Walter Boomsma on March 15, 2018 :: 3:11 pm

I suspect there’s a version of this happening on Facebook Messenger which is not one of my favorite programs to begin with… the scary part is they are getting smarter about it. I was recently messaged by someone who had a profile suggesting she lived in my town, recently moved to the area, etc. We had a reasonably pleasant conversation until she tried to initiate a cam chat… security software won’t help if you aren’t suspicious!

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Yes, that's a big problem, too

From Josh Kirschner on March 15, 2018 :: 5:04 pm

Scams that trick you into going on webcam and then blackmailing you with the recording have been going on for a number of years (https://www.reddit.com/r/needadvice/comments/1z4iv0/please_help_me_i_got_caught_masturbating_on_cam/). As a general rule, assume that if you’re on cam you WILL get recorded, and act accordingly.

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Porn phishing email

From John on June 26, 2018 :: 6:43 am

I got an email yesterday demanding $470 in bitcoin. Supposedly they have my contacts and site information of porn sites that were visited. Threatened to a video with split screens showing the porn and my activity and send to my contacts f I don’t reply within 3 days with the bitcoins. The bitcoin address is valid. My biggest concern is that email was addressed specifically to me. I know my email is public so they probably got the name that way. It had numerous grammatical errors.
Do you think this is a phishing email or could it be true?
Thanks

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Always use a 'junk mail' email address

From Ruth Kenrick-Smith on March 15, 2018 :: 8:43 pm

To protect yourself from your details being sold on by those coupon sites etc, create a new email address that you use to sign up for ‘junk’, and reserve your private email address for friends, family, & personal business.

As for the porn scam I would be tempted to call their bluff and contact them and say ‘Publish for your life sunshine! The world NEEDS to see how totally magnificent I am!!’ Lol.

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Lol I did.

From Charlie on October 19, 2018 :: 6:19 am

I don’t even have a webcam so I gushed about what a wizard he was and on and on I went then I said I used my email to instal a Trojan horse deep in his system and used a sniffer worm to locate and retrieve the video of me and told him thanks cause I put it on YouTube and it’s trending and how much money I made off the views etc closing with don’t forget to click the red subscribe button and hit the bell icon so he’ll never miss my vids.

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Suicide risk

From William on March 18, 2018 :: 2:00 pm

In my work as a counsellor I have worked with people who have actively considered suicide in response to these scams. If you are reasonably well receiving one of these emails might initially be frightening but it is likely to be quite another matter if you have a mental health issue. Be aware of any vulnerability in your family, in your friendship group and share articles such as this as widely as possible.

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Received email personalized

From Robert Prunty on March 19, 2018 :: 4:32 am

I received the first email identical to the one above.  This morning i received another one addressed to me personally with my full name.  Has anyone received this?  Is this something to be concerned about?

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I still wouldn't worry

From Josh Kirschner on March 19, 2018 :: 8:10 am

You’re not the first person I’ve heard from who had the message addressed by name. However, I still wouldn’t be concerned about it. There have been so many data breaches which have leaked names and email addresses that the fact your name is in the scam email means almost nothing. If you check your spam folder in your mailbox, I’ll bet you regularly see emails that either use your name or use the name of one of your friends (to get a sense of the hundreds of millions (billions?) of emails and associated data that have been breached see: https://haveibeenpwned.com/PwnedWebsites).

I would only start to suspect that this is something different than what we describe above if they have information that only a true hacker would have. For example, the specific time/day/video you watched (not the website, as it’s too easy to guess using one of the big ones, like Pornhub or Xhamster) or an actual image of you “engaged” in the process. A real blackmailer wouldn’t leave you guessing and wouldn’t request such a small amount. And if you’re running well-respected anti-malware on your computer, the likelihood that anyone would get this type of spyware onto your computer is very slim.

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is Malware bytes a good

From Dave on March 28, 2018 :: 9:30 am

is Malware bytes a good one?

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No, I wouldn't recommend that

From Josh Kirschner on March 28, 2018 :: 9:42 am

Malwarebytes underperforms vs other active malware protection programs in independent testing. Our recommendation would be to go with Bitdefender, Kaspersky or Symantec (Norton) for real-time protection.

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RAT blackmail/adult site

From jj on April 07, 2018 :: 10:20 am

My 3 days of being blackmailed is not quite over. From time to time I get emails from people in my contact list that are not from them. I can tell and I always delete them. Yesterday, I got one from my wife’s email, and it had my 1st and last name in the http address. I deleted that too. I never asked for PROOF and he threatened just like it says here, to send it to a contact. I’ve grown confident reading tons of examples like I have here, that this whole thing is a scam. BUT, I did become unnerved when that email came across with my name in the http address from my wife’s email address. That has never happened. I came so close to opening it, thinking this might be the PROOF And no, my wife did not send it. Do you feel I am still safe?

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Updates

From Chris on July 09, 2018 :: 6:56 pm

JJ, how did it work out for you? Any updates?

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Should I be worried?

From Janelle Payne on April 29, 2018 :: 5:28 pm

Should I be worried that whoever sent this email can access any other information that might be damaging to personal financial accounts? What should I do after receiving this email?

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Yes and no

From Josh Kirschner on May 01, 2018 :: 2:18 pm

There’s nothing about having received this email that would suggest you’re in a different boat than anyone else as far as damaging information. However, the boat we’re all in is a ratty, leaky piece of junk when it comes to protecting our personal information. Major data leaks from Equifax and others means that we all need to assume that our financial accounts could be compromised and take appropriate action. And that means putting a credit freeze on our accounts through the credit bureaus. Here’s how: https://www.techlicious.com/blog/equifax-data-breach-what-to-do/

There’s also a phone porting scam that can lead to your bank account being compromised (i.e., your money being stolen). It’s important to ensure you have the proper security protections in place with your cell phone provider: https://www.techlicious.com/blog/phone-porting-scam-can-empty-bank-account/.

That’s the stuff I would worry about. This porn scam? Not so much.

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Email asking for money, should i be worry?

From MJ on May 17, 2018 :: 1:49 pm

Mohammad Jubaer


At the time when you have been abusing yourself in front ofnotebook screen when you paid a visit erotic web site your notebook was attacked by computer virus amid secure vulnerability your Internet browser.

The malicious program captures all the operations at your palmtop computer and amongst other things it is informed about coockie of the sites that you look through.

And the key advantage of the mentioned malicious program is that it have an opportunity activate front camera and remove all the contact numbers from your mail box.

Well I get access to your mail and social media sites.

In such a way I have got video and photo where you jack off and naked.

If you do not wish this materials to be published and to be send to all your guys family I propose you the next solution.

You should deliver dispatch to my Bitcoin address 1G5muQjAVisos6vBxAxoNqQy3be44CUTDf 400 $ in BTC.

Upon receiving of the sum of money I shall crush compromising evidence on you and you will never again remember about this unpleasant situation.

Conversely in a case if you don’t deliver me that cash within 25 hours after have read that letter I going to deliver all the dirtycompromising evidence on you to your family and collaborates and also across social media platforms for general estimation of your activity.

P.S. My my language knowledge is not good enough as I am not native speaking nevertheless you would to understand me.

I ask you and don’t reply to this mailing box I will never login to it again.

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No, you shouldn't worry.

From Josh Kirschner on May 17, 2018 :: 2:18 pm

That’s the typical scam email format. Notice that it claims to have all this info about you - contacts, pictures - yet provides no evidence. Fortunately, researching that bitcoin address indicates that no one has paid the ransom yet. Hopefully, it will stay that way.

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Password in Subject

From T on July 11, 2018 :: 4:09 pm

I received a similar demand e-mail; however, the subject line contained one of my passwords. I can’t even figure out which account the password is for right now, but I know it’s one I’ve used in the past. The password they gave is actually a shorter version of a password I currently use (but definitely will be changing now). I thought the password was too short so I added some characters all the end. I did run a couple of different malware apps and they all so far have showed clear. My big concern is the fact that they have my password for something. Since it’s such a personal piece of information should I be concerned that it’s actually legit and not a scam? I’ve done a bunch of online searches for these types of e-mails and so far I haven’t come across anyone who has mentioned their password being in the e-mail.

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Exact same email as above

From Ramone Stoneman on July 12, 2018 :: 11:50 am

Having the login and password is very disconcerting.
I use Dashlane and am going through every account that has that combination and either deleting or changing the password.
Any other advice. My inclination is to ignore it.

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Sam

From Ed on July 13, 2018 :: 2:06 am

Woke up to that one just now

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They have a password that I use

From John Markner on July 11, 2018 :: 9:42 pm

This email disclosed a password that I use on a particular site, is this still a scam?

I know, xxxxxxxxx, is your pass word. You don’t know me and you are most likely wondering why you are getting this e-mail, correct?

actually, I actually placed a malware on the adult vids (porn) site and do you know what, you visited this site to experience fun (you know what I mean). While you were watching videos, your web browser started out working as a RDP (Remote Desktop) with a key logger which provided me access to your screen and web cam. Immediately after that, my software gathered your entire contacts from your Messenger, Facebook, as well as email.

What did I do?

I created a double-screen video. 1st part shows the video you were watching (you have a nice taste haha . . .), and second part shows the recording of your web camera.

What should you do?

Well, in my opinion, $3900 is a reasonable price tag for our little secret. You will make the payment via Bitcoin (if you don’t know this, search “how to buy bitcoin” in Google).

BTC Address: 1NLh41sRP8QfSkkBrps1wXQXQhyM86HQYh
(It is cAsE sensitive, so copy and paste it)

Important:
You now have one day to make the payment. (I’ve a unique pixel within this email message, and right now I know that you have read this message). If I do not get the BitCoins, I definitely will send out your video to all of your contacts including relatives, colleagues, etc. Having said that, if I do get paid, I will destroy the video immidiately. If you need evidence, reply with “Yes!” and I will send your video to your 5 contacts. This is the non-negotiable offer, that being said do not waste my time and yours by responding to this email message.

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Same email

From Darin on July 12, 2018 :: 12:06 pm

I got that same exact email today (including the misspelling of ‘immidiately’), except they were asking $2900 and threatening to send to 12 friends.  The password was a legitimate one but isn’t associated in any way with the email account that they sent it to.

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Identical

From Derrick on July 12, 2018 :: 12:18 pm

I’ve just received the identical email, word for word earlier today including an old password in the message title.
I’m really concerned I’m case my devices have been compromised

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Yup, me too

From Me too on July 12, 2018 :: 12:49 pm

I got the exact same email as well, about an hour ago. Password was one of mine, but not related to my email address. It was, however, related to Adobe, Dribbble, PandaDoc and EventBrite.  Any chance you guys use one of those services? Looks like one (or more) of them was compromised.

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Same exact email as Darin

From Will on July 12, 2018 :: 1:14 pm

Received the exact email as Darin today (including the misspelling of ‘immidiately’), they were asking $2900 and threatening to send to 8 friends.  The password was a legitimate one, used a long time ago.

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Was this the email you received this from

From Will on July 12, 2018 :: 5:36 pm

Was this the email you received this from?

West Valenzuela <rdyjedediahbp@outlook.com>

I received the same email with a few minor differences today.

I want to know if they are using the same email address.

Thanks

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Same email here

From Aitch B on July 13, 2018 :: 3:41 am

I received this too on the 12 July. The same email, word for word except the bitcoin address is not the same. I binned the email but kept a screenshot of details just in case. They had one of my passwords but it’s a small one that I only use on websites that I would not care if they hacked and is not the same as those for FB, mail etc.

They actually added to the mail (before it was opened !! ) that they knew I’d opened the mail as they had a pixel (doh!) that told them when it was read. Stupid statement as of course if I was reading it, it was open.

FYI
The email was from Joe Nibert .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For further thought: As this is a blackmail attempt, it should be reported to the police. I do not live in the UK but abroad and would be interested to see what this countries police would say.

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Exact same email.

From Nathan VanLaningham on July 13, 2018 :: 7:01 am

Including the amount, $2,900.  The distressing thing to me is that while I use many different passwords and over the last month have taken increasing advantage of my Mac generating passwords, very few passwords are duplicated, but there are a couple.  None on bank stuff or major places I go.  I do have a gmail account which I almost never use and have not used regularly in years and the password they sent came from it.  I deleted all of my contacts in it, thinking I would at least reduce the risk for those individuals as a possible security vector, assuming that gmail can be a risk.  (as I said, I really don’t use the account often so having no contacts is not a big inconvenience.  Also, I changed the password and turned on two-part authentication.

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Same email

From Cat on July 13, 2018 :: 3:04 pm

I received this same email at 23.00 last night (12/07/18) asking for $1200.

The email address is was sent from is:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

The bitcoin details are different but other than that it is practically the same word for word.

The email subject is an old password that i haven’t used in years.

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Identical scam

From Davey on July 16, 2018 :: 6:45 pm

Just received a similar email today with a password that I’ve used for other accounts, but not for the yahoo email address that this letter was sent to. I’ve gone over all the accounts that I have with the password and associated yahoo address and changed the passwords.  They were asking for $1900. Is it possible to turn on your camera without the light being on to let you know that it’s on?
—————————————————
“Let’s get straight to the point. I am aware xxxxxxx is your password. More importantly, I do know about your secret and I’ve evidence of this. You don’t know me and no one employed me to check out you.

It is just your bad luck that I came across your blunder. Actually, I setup a malware on the adult videos (pornographic material) and you visited this site to experience fun (you know what I mean). When you were watching videos, your web browser began working as a Rdp (Remote desktop) that has a keylogger which gave me access to your screen as well as web camera. After that, my software program collected all your contacts from messenger, facebook, as well as e-mail.

After that I gave in more hours than I should have digging into your life and generated a double display video. 1st part displays the recording you had been viewing and next part shows the video of your web camera (its you doing inappropriate things).

Frankly, I want to forget details about you and allow you to move on with your daily life. And I am going to offer you two options which will accomplish this. The two choices are either to ignore this letter, or simply pay me $1900. Let’s understand these two options in details.

Option One is to ignore this mail. Let’s see what will happen if you take this option. I definitely will send your video recording to all of your contacts including friends and family, colleagues, etc. It does not shield you from the humiliation your self will feel when relatives and buddies find out your dirty videos from me.

Other Option is to make the payment of $1900. We’ll name it my “privacy charges”. Now let me tell you what happens if you choose this path. Your secret remains your secret. I’ll destroy the video immediately. You go on with your life as though nothing like this ever happened.

At this point you must be thinking, “I’m going to report to the cops”. Without a doubt, I have taken steps to make sure that this e-mail can’t be tracked returning to me and it will not stay away from the evidence from destroying your daily life. I am not seeking to steal all your savings. I just want to get paid for efforts and time I put into investigating you. Let’s assume you decide to make all of this disappear completely and pay me my confidentiality fee. You’ll make the payment by Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search “how to buy bitcoins” on google search)

Required Amount: $1900
Receiving Bitcoin Address: 1MAFzYQhm6msF2Dxo3Nbox7i61XvgQ7og5
(It is CASE sensitive, so copy and paste it)

Tell nobody what you will be sending the Bitcoins for or they will often not sell it to you. The procedure to acquire bitcoin will take a few days so do not put it off.
I have a specific pixel in this email, and now I know that you’ve read through this mail. You now have 2 days in order to make the payment. If I do not get the Bitcoins, I definitely will send your video recording to your contacts including family members, colleagues, etc. You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. Having said that, if I do get paid, I’ll destroy the video immediately. It is a non negotiable one time offer, thus don’t waste my time and yours. Time is running out.

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Similar Email - It's A Scam

From Mike on July 29, 2018 :: 11:50 am

Got this email two days ago.  Didn’t reply and reported it as a phishing scam.  Nothing has happened.  Still put a scare in me until I came across this post.  Thanks, Josh.

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