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Is the Porn Blackmail Scam Real?

by on April 22, 2020
in Computer Safety & Support, News, Computers and Software, Blog :: 675 comments

Techlicious editors independently review products. To help support our mission, we may earn affiliate commissions from links contained on this page.

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. In fact, while this article was originally written in March of 2018, Sophos security recently released a new study, based on millions of porn blackmail emails that were sent between September 2019 and March 2020, demonstrating this to be the case. During that period, sextortion emails made up 4.23% of all spam observed by Sophos. The study also showed scammers are using new methods for obfuscating email content to evade spam filters, enabling them to collect nearly a half million dollars in payments from victims during the same period. Fortunately, despite some payouts, potential victims seem to be becoming wise to the scam, as only half a percent of the Bitcoin addresses used in the spam messages received any payment, according to Sophos.

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 REGARDING PASSWORD APPEARING IN THE EMAIL SCAM 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 than 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 WARNING ABOUT ATTACHMENTS 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 a 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.]

[EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT WORK VS PERSONAL EMAILS 1/21/19: A number of people are expressing concern in the comments that the blackmail email is coming to their work email, instead of their personal email (or both). It doesn't matter — an email address is a email address as far as this scam goes. Billions of emails have been leaked over the years, many of those from business-focused services such as Dropbox, LinkedIn and Adobe. If I check to see which of my email addresses have been involved in breaches, my work email has been breached many more times than my personal email.

Originally published 3/12/18. Updated 4/22/2020 with new data from Sophos

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



Discussion loading

Emmyhackengine At Gmail is the

From Henry on June 07, 2019 :: 7:25 pm

Emmyhackengine At Gmail is the only hack expert i can confidently recommend most of the claims i come across are fake.

Reply

THIS HACKER HELPED ME AND HE CAN DO THE SAME TO YOU..

From Lala Griffin on June 24, 2019 :: 7:02 pm

Do you have to expand your FICO assessment?

Do you mean to redesign your school grade?

Would you like to hack your bamboozling life partner Email, whatsapp, Facebook, instagram or any interpersonal organization?

Do you need any data concerning any database.

Do you have to recover erased records?

Do you have to clear your criminal records or DMV?

Would you like to expel any website or connection from any blog?

you should contact this programmer, he is dependable and great at the hack occupations..

contact : cyberhack118 AT GMAIL DOT COM

Reply

got an email like this recently...

From J107 on June 27, 2019 :: 3:46 pm

What I’d like to know is if there’s any way to find out which specific website they obtained my email from? The one they sent me isn’t the one I use for the email they sent it to, but for other websites in the past, yes.

Reply

I mean, obtained my password.

From J107 on June 27, 2019 :: 3:47 pm

I mean, obtained my password.

Reply

Try dehashed.com

From Josh Kirschner on June 28, 2019 :: 12:15 pm

There are a few sites out there which allow you to look up a hacked password to see where the leak may have come from, such as dehashed.com. It’s not going to work well if your password is very common since it doesn’t let you check email/password pairs, just each individually, so others may have used the same password on other sites. But by checking your password and email address, you may be able to narrow it down.

Reply

valvesoftware.com

From gabe newell on June 29, 2019 :: 6:24 pm

i agree i was scammed

Reply

Prostate Cancer patients

From Consultant on July 04, 2019 :: 1:53 am

One of the sad things about this scam is that it can interfere with the health of many men. Many prostate cancer patients who have been treated for the condition are encouraged to masturbate as a means of exercising the penis’s blood flow and nerve function. Internet erotica is an efficient stimulant for such activity. I have had patients recently tell me of being caught up in this scam and it is adding anxiety to an already worrying state of mind.

Reply

Another porn scam demanding Bitcoin worth $ 1,798

From Peter on July 21, 2019 :: 7:00 am

Recently I got this scam email from “Auberta Hinge”:


i do know ..... is your påss. Lts gt stråight tō point. No-one has paid me to check you. You måy not know me and yoų‘re prōbably thinkĺng why yōu are gtting this e-mail?

i ĺnstalled a softwar on th 18+ vĺds (adųlt pōrn) web sĺt and yoų know what, you vĺsited this web site to have fųn (yōu knōw what i meån). When you were viwing videō clips, yoųr intrnet browser started out wōrking as a RDP that has a key loggr which gave me accss to your displåy ånd wbcåm. åfter that, my sōftware prōgråm cōllected yōur entĺre contåcts from your Messenger, Fåceboōk, ås well as emåĺl . ånd then i made a doųbl vidō. 1st part shows the video yōų were viewing (you have å gōod taste haha), and second part displays th view ōf your wbcåm, and its you.

You actually hav two possibĺlities. We are goĺng to anålyze these types of choices in pårticulars:

Very fĺrst optĺōn is to skip thĺs emaĺl messåge. Then, ĺ åm going to send out yōųr tape to every one ōf yōur contacts and consider abōut the åwkwårdness yoų can get. and likwĺse in case you ar in a loving relåtĺōnship, jųst how it is gōing to affct?

Scond choic would b to påy me $1798. We wĺll call it å donation. as a result, i most certaĺnly will quickly elimĺnat your vĺdotap. Yōu can keep on goĺng daily life lĺk thĺs nevr happened and you never will har back again from me.

You will make th paymnt through Bitcoin (if yōu don’t knōw this, search ‘how to buy bitcoin’ in Google).

BTC address to send to:

12u9TvVUdQQWqACgJBS8erAbW2pzSsB7cm
[CaS-SeNSiTĺVe cōpy & paste ĺt]

ĺf you are thĺnking of going tō the pōlice, look, thĺs emåil messag can not be traced båck tō me. i have covred my steps. ĺ am also not trying to ask yōu for mōney a whole lōt, ĺ wånt to b compensatd. You hav 48 hōurs in order to mak the payment. i’ve a unĺqų pixel within this maĺl, ånd right nōw i know that you håve read throųgh thĺs message. if i do nōt gt the BitCoĺns, i will defĺnately send out yoųr vido rcōrdĺng to all of yōur cōntacts inclųding relatives, coworkrs, and many others. Nevertheless, if i receive the payment, i will erase the video right awåy. ĺf yōu want evĺdenc, reply with Yes! and i definitely will send your vĺdeo to your 10 friends. This is a non-negotiable offer, ånd so plase don’t wåste my personal tim and yoųrs by respōndĺng to thĺs email.

Reply

Porn on my email server.

From hjpm@eastex.net on August 06, 2019 :: 11:38 am

I was told by my computer tech that my computer had been hacked and comprising videos of hard core porn are now my computer. Via remote access, he showed me the evidence. I agreed to pay him $1200 to remove the comprising material and install Sonic-Wall Gateway Security to preclude this ever happening again. Did I do the right thing?


Jim

Reply

Is this for real?

From Josh Kirschner on August 06, 2019 :: 2:20 pm

I’m not sure whether this is a real comment or a fake one trying to promote the product above. But I will answer it assuming this is what happened…

First of all, no one hacks a computer and loads porn on it. There’s no purpose to doing that unless it were part of some bizarre blackmail scheme. I have no idea what “evidence” of a hack he was able to come up with remotely. If you have that evidence, let me know what he claimed.

Assuming a hack of this nature did happen, it was probably something you were tricked into doing, and anti-malware software (either Windows Defender or a commercial package like Norton or Bitdefender) would likely stop it from occurring in the future. If it were a true “hack”, that should be stopped by your internet router (unless you have an outdated or really crappy router) and Windows Defender Firewall. Hard to say more without more details from the “evidence”.

Unless you’re running a business and require complex, customizable front-end firewall configurations, there is no need to install expensive gateway solutions. And if you paid $1,200 to buy one for home protection, you likely got seriously ripped off.

Reply

Scam?

From Sue Davies on August 06, 2019 :: 3:06 pm

This sounds like a scam to me.  Was “my computer tech” someone known to and trusted by the writer, or someone who rang up out of the blue?  It has echoes of the scammers who ring up pretending to be from Microsoft, or similar, to trick people into giving them remote access to their computers and then instal malware to capture keystrokes.  The writer may want to check what has actually been installed on his machine, it’s possible that being ripped off is the least of it.

Reply

I would say "So?"

From Jaimes Palacio on September 15, 2019 :: 10:26 am

First off: I cover my camera on my computer with black cardboard. Secondly, my private e-mails? Have at it f**khead. Everyone I care about already knows that I despise Trump and my very many hatreds and my very many colorful usage of variations of profanity. I would not tell this person that though. I would say: “What a coincidence, I happen to be in I.T. and I have just pinged this e-mail address and have alerted the authorities and have your address. If they don’t buy that. I would just use my grasp of the aforementioned colorful profanity and bid goodbye. Then, assuming it was a real e-mail address-which is unlikely, but hey, there are idiots in the world that are not in The White House- I would take their e-mail address and send it to a number of authorities AND spam them for a month.

Reply

Blackmailing mail first time

From DM on October 15, 2019 :: 2:20 am

I have got an email on my official website on yesterday at 6.30am saying as below.

“Greetings…

I HAVE A VERY BAD NEWS FOR YOU.

On 01/04/2019-on this day I hacked your operating system and got full access to your account support@amley-amley.com.

On that day your account password was support53.
It is useless to change the password, my malware intercept it every time.

How it was:
In the software of the router to which you were connected that day, there was a vulnerability.

I first hacked this router and placed my malicious code on it.When you entered in the internet, my trojan was injected into explorer.exe on the operating system of your device.After that I made a full dump of your disk (I have all your address book, history of viewing sites, all files, phone numbers and address of all your contacts).

I made a screenshot of the intimate website where you have fun.After that I made a screenshot of your joys(using the camera of your device) and joined all together and it turned beautifully, donot doubt.
Just send $606 in my BTC wallet:
1GHKu2wVTLYWxRbuosssciibkEjYt92piQ.

After sending the money my virus and all your photos will destruct automatically. You have only two days.  Otherwise all the informations will be leaked.

I don’t know how they have got my email.Also I didnot open any account and set password.I have only one day left. Just help.

Just tell me what to do now.

Reply

The article was pretty clear this is a scam.

From Josh Kirschner on October 15, 2019 :: 1:20 pm

The article tells you how they got your email and what to do (nothing, it’s a scam).

Reply

Blackmailing mail first time

From DM on October 15, 2019 :: 4:21 pm

Thanks a lot for your help.

Reply

Hope it’s a scam too but I dunno

From Mike on December 03, 2019 :: 9:11 pm

So I guess I’m in the same boat but sure sure it’s not real. I was on was stupid dating sites drunk and hi and a really attractive girl wanted to video chat with me. It seems innocent enough but then they sent me a video and screenshot back at me saying the same type of thing. They said hello (Name) and put pictures of my Facebook account, pictures, contacts, emails, etc. of course I freaked out and didn’t know what to do. If I was over at probably one hour got so freaked out so my dumbass fell for it a little bit. It says pay them or the publisher and send it to everybody I know including my work and friends on Facebook or whatever type of social media. If it is a scam is there anyway to get rid of that crap or will it be there forever or should I be worried???
Please Respond I’d really appreciate it if I can get some peace of mind because I’m kind of losing it.

Thank you
Mike

Reply

It's extortion

From Josh Kirschner on December 04, 2019 :: 4:20 pm

What you experienced sounds like a common extortion scam (read this from the BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-37735369). From the way you describe it, it is “real” in the sense that they do have an actual video of you and your personal information. But if you don’t pay, they still might never follow through on their threats. And if you do pay, there’s no guarantee that they won’t keep trying to get more money out of you.

Your best strategy is to completely ignore them. Don’t respond, don’t negotiate. If they do try to publish it and send you a link, contact the posting site ASAP to have it removed. If you’re lucky, nothing more will come of it. If not, you may have to live with a little embarrassment. For more info: https://www.cagoldberglaw.com/5-steps-online-blackmail-scams/.

Also, you may want to contact the FBI: https://www.fbi.gov/video-repository/newss-what-is-sextortion/view. I don’t know what may come of it except the possibility of scaring the extorters back.

Reply

Continue..

From Mike on December 03, 2019 :: 9:14 pm

Sorry I forgot to add that they keep texting calling and threatening to release everything through WhatsApp, my cell phone number, and email accounts.
Have you ever heard of this before or is it just the same type a deal? Should I change my number or just delete and block him from everything? I just don’t know what to do everybody knows me in my town and I die if it got out

Reply

Dont be worry

From Greystoke on December 04, 2019 :: 3:07 am

Read this site, you are one of tens millions even hundred millions. Do not pay never do not contact them ever .

https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2019/10/16/have-you-sent-15000-sextortion-emails-today/

Reply

He's in a different situation

From Josh Kirschner on December 04, 2019 :: 4:34 pm

What you link to is what I covered in this article - anonymous email sextortion scams. What Mike experienced is a targeted sextortion scam, where he was actually filmed and they know who he is. A far more scary and insidious scam.

Reply

Fake Blackmail Scam

From Jrs on January 28, 2020 :: 10:06 am

Addressed to me by first and last name with an ID#

From the name Fabiano Udinesi

U know that wanking is a very bad practice? Read this letter to the end!
Disgusting video of you fapping have been taken utilizing your webcam. No doubt that ur closest people will be appalled by this!
My spyware stole all ur enquiries, passwords of your social networking web-sites and not only these data.
I may upset u, do not try to ask for help law enforcement they won’t be able to catch me, since I am an alien (that is why my english knowledge leaves much to be desired).
You destinate 16.5 Lite coin to the address ltc1qepvt3uef6cz58aedtyaacqqta2cv044w5yv7el and I will destroy all of your staggering vids.
I offer u twenty-four h to pay for my silence (my system will send me a notification that u read the message)!
You may defy these demands, but then I will have to to direct all of your leverage to ur loved ones and upload your videos on the Internet within forty-eight hours.
There’s no need to write me, the mail is hacked and soon there will be no access to it.

Reply

Our messages are very similar!

From Jordan on January 28, 2020 :: 5:59 pm

They both use the word “staggering” to describe the videos. They seem fake. *fingers crossed*

Reply

Think you're good

From Josh Kirschner on January 28, 2020 :: 7:55 pm

Unless your videos truly are “staggering”, you should be fine. And anyone whose videos are staggering probably should consider a new career!

But seriously, it’s all fake.

Reply

THANKS!

From Jordan on January 28, 2020 :: 5:49 pm

Just wanted to post this to help others. I have noticed some similarities to all the messages. They often mention their English is not great or they are foreign. I’ve gotten emails like this in the past but I recently got a webcam and am a bit worried, not gonna lie.

—————Original Message—————
From: Diana Pisano <voltlam761huelva_group.int@aol.com>
To: Jordan
Date: January 28, 2020 at 2:13 PM
Subject: Jordan *lastname* id82490575

I’m seeing you adore wanking off so u see the msg!
What your relatives are going to say having seen the videotape of u jerking off…I’m very interested in their response to it!
My data miner copied all of your enquiries, passwords of your social networks and more data.
My english literacy is bad for I am an alien (don’t attempt to report to law-enforcement agencies they will not be able to find me).
I will delete all ur staggering videos once I am paid for my silence, 0.07 BTC to the address bc1qkyccq8k4kqjkqr0dqfx5qc65ysywfg96ghhdw2.
There are only twenty-four hours for payment after you open this text (I will know when you open this msg reading)!
U may defy the demands, but then I will have to to send all of ur blackmail material to your loved ones and upload ur videos on the Internet in forty-eight hours.
The electronic-mail is interim, soon there will be no access to it, don’t try to write to it.

Reply

Minor Variation

From Old Man Winter on February 16, 2020 :: 5:45 pm

My story is like the others except instead of an email they embedded their scam in an otherwise legit news site. When I clicked on the location of what would’ve been the most recent story, up came the threat about their virus disseminating embarrassing video taken by my own computer’s video cam unless I sent them bitcoins.  Thing is, my computer doesn’t even have a cam or a microphone.  Ha ha! Still, pretty unsettling, especially since I’m a senior citizen. I did checkout the FBI site for reporting Internet crime, didn’t find it very reassuring, sorry to say.

Reply

Can you check

From Anon on April 14, 2020 :: 4:46 pm

I got one of these extortion masturbation behind your webcam email.  Can you check if anything has been paid to it.

bc1q0xvrsttl0hgxlxets785qqthl9l5mg96h7nnhu

Reply

Nope

From Josh Kirschner on April 14, 2020 :: 5:05 pm

You can check any Bitcoin wallet account balance and transactions through sites like blockchain.com. For the wallet address you linked to, nothing has been paid.

Reply

.

From #Theus on April 14, 2020 :: 7:18 pm

I also just received an e-mail stating that there are videos of me masturbating and they gave me a password, which made me afraid.

Bitcoin Wallet
bc1qm3mcyk74q2yjt2yw07jr594j8kxffr0mj2ty6t

I consulted and there were no transactions.

Reply

I also just received an

From Theus on April 14, 2020 :: 7:19 pm

I also just received an e-mail stating that there are videos of me masturbating and they gave me a password, which made me afraid.

Bitcoin Wallet
bc1qm3mcyk74q2yjt2yw07jr594j8kxffr0mj2ty6t

I consulted and there were no transactions.

Reply

I have just received an

From Doug Reid on April 23, 2020 :: 8:34 pm

I have just received an email Where he says he has used malware to record me on my web cam. He sent the email with the title of an old password and to my legit email address. he says i have 24 hrs from the time i open the email to pay him 2000 in bitcoin or he releases the video tho my friends on Facebook. I haven’t used that password in a long time 2 yrs i believe but he says he has 118 days worth of activity on me. Should I take him serious?

Reply

No, not serious

From Josh Kirschner on April 24, 2020 :: 12:22 pm

That’s what this article is specifically about.

Reply

My password was revealed

From Kurth on May 05, 2020 :: 5:29 pm

Please see below and what do you think about this? The subject of the email is one of my passwords. I need to remove some due to the length.


Michele Loi <mloi13@yahoo.com>
To: xxx@yahoo.com

It seems that, xxx is your password.

I require your complete attention for the the next 24 hours, or I will make sure you that you live out of shame for the rest of your existence.

Hello there, you do not know me. Yet I know just about everything concerning you. Your facebook contact list, phone contacts as well as all the online activity on your computer from past 125 days.

Consisting of, your masturbation video footage, which brings me to the main reason why I am composing this particular mail to you.

Well the previous time you went to see the porn material webpages, my malware ended up being triggered inside your computer system which ended up saving a lovely video footage of your self pleasure play by triggering your web camera.
(you got a tremendously odd taste btw lmao)
But, doesn’t necessarily need to be that route.

I would like to make you a 1 time, no negotiable offer.

Get USD 2000 in bitcoin and send them to the below address:

1JwMMWFf8P6mMGf4TZUEL8dnyNMjrr*MWrk
[CASE-sensitive copy and paste it, and remove * from it]

(If you do not understand how, look online how to buy bitcoin. Do not waste my valuable time)

If you send out this particular ‘donation’ (why don’t we call this that?). After that, I will vanish and under no circumstances make contact with you again. I will get rid of everything I’ve got in relation to you. You may proceed living your current ordinary day to day life with absolutely no fear.

You’ve 1 day to do so. Your time begins as quickly you read this mail. I have got an one of a kind code that will notify me once you read this email therefore do not try to act smart.

***
Hope someone can help.

Reply

It means nothing

From Josh Kirschner on May 05, 2020 :: 9:16 pm

I specifically discuss using passwords in the article above. It means nothing. Email/password combinations stolen in various data breaches are widely available in dark web markets. The scammers include it to make it seem like they actually have hacked your computer - they haven’t.

Reply

How can they get a video if I have a piece of tape covering the lens

From Tim on May 07, 2020 :: 11:49 am

I sent them back an email asking them how it would work if I had tape over the lens, which I do.
And I had an old password in the email title.

Reply

Do not worry. Just a scam...

From JRS on May 07, 2020 :: 1:21 pm

They can’t. No one should worry when receiving this type of email. I know when you read it for the first time your heart sinks into your stomach and you freak out for a second. It’s just another dirty way for people to make cash off fear.

Reply

VPN

From Tim on May 07, 2020 :: 12:01 pm

Here’s a question. If I use a VPN, does that make it harder for anyone to hack into my computer?
I also have a router, obviously, which should offer some additional protection.

Reply

Yes and no

From Josh Kirschner on May 07, 2020 :: 1:19 pm

This is one of those “it depends” questions. And it depends on what you mean by “hacking”? A VPN will prevent anyone snooping on a WiFi network from picking up unencrypted logins. Though, very few sites still allow that and, frankly, if they do, you shouldn’t be using them. A VPN will make it harder to directly attack your IP address probing for security holes, but that isn’t how hacks typically happen, unless someone is specifically targeting you.

A VPN will not prevent you from downloading malware (which is how most people end up getting compromised). And some VPNs have been accused of spying on users themselves, which is why you should always use one of our recommended VPNs.

So while there are numerous privacy reasons why you may want to use a VPN, hacking prevention shouldn’t be the reason to use one.

Reply

Just use a good malware detector

From JRS on May 07, 2020 :: 1:25 pm

Malwarebytes free is probably the best budget friendly anti-malware out there. That and and a good anti virus. With a VPN all three together will keep your information safe.

Reply

For instance, how do they

From Tim on May 07, 2020 :: 1:29 pm

For instance, how do they even know it’s me at the site if I am using a VPN and that blocks my address? How can they trace it back to me?
Does having a VPN make it harder for them to control any malware on my computer if they are having trouble even knowing how to reach my computer because they don’t know my IP address, supposedly.
If the cops have a harder time, why would these hackers have it any easier?

Reply

Of course, this is just

From Tim on May 07, 2020 :: 1:37 pm

Of course, this is just a fraud but I’m saying it is highly unlikely they could do it if it wasn’t some phishing expedition.
Do VPNs have anti-hacking protection for their users where they would perform a similar function to a router with a firewall?

Hope this answers your questions.

From JRS on May 07, 2020 :: 1:46 pm

https://www.quora.com/Do-VPNs-prevent-you-from-getting-hacked?top_ans=107014690

Porn site - email address

From Tim on May 07, 2020 :: 12:04 pm

Another question is how would they know your email address if you were just visiting a porn site - unless you have a paid account with that site and used that email address to register.
There is no other way to connect the two.

Reply

No correlation

From JRS on May 11, 2020 :: 12:51 am

The porn site probably has nothing to do with how your email address was used. A number of companies sell your email address to random companies. There are numerous ways of how they got your email.

Reply

Same Email

From Allison Guyen on May 09, 2020 :: 12:30 pm

I’m concerned in case my device gets hacked.

Reply

I might have been hacked

From Jh on May 10, 2020 :: 4:59 pm

Recently i cisited some weird porn sites. I later filmed on snapchat when a text occured saying I was unable to record sounds since Google was recording sounds.

Tonight I got an e-mail saing they had a video of me masturbaiting and that I have to pay 700$ in btc in 72 hours or else they Will share it to my contacts. I actuslly think there is a film of me since Google was recording sounds. Should I pay? I need help.

Reply

Probably not

From Josh Kirschner on May 10, 2020 :: 6:03 pm

I’m having a little difficulty following what you’re describing. Maybe you accidentally activated Google Assistant and that’s why you got that message, though doesn’t really make sense. However, there’s nothing I see from your message that would suggest this anything different than the standard sextortion scam.

Reply

Scam?

From Jh on May 11, 2020 :: 5:32 am

I Will try to make this text more distict.

One day i visited some new porn websites… Some scetchy sites..
About 10 minutes after, I recorded a video on snapchat when a text occured saying I was unable to recird sounds since Google already was recording.

Yesterday i recieved this e-mail saying I was recorded while I was masturbaiting. Now I have to send 700$ to a bitcoin wallet. I’m unable to copy The e-mail and post it here for some reason… Should I pay? I need your help… I really think The guy has a video of me and he will share it to all my friends if i do not pay. But what if I pay and he blackmails me even more? What should I do?

Reply

Need more info about the email

From Josh Kirschner on May 11, 2020 :: 9:37 am

Does the email read similar to the ones above? If so, then it’s the same scam. There have been sextortion scams where people have had their devices (usually PCs) hacked through malware (lookup RAT malware). In those cases, the scammer usually provides more information and maybe a copy of the videos/photo to prove they are real.

Either way, do not pay and just ignore the email. It’s either an outright scam (most likely) or an extortion scheme where, as you note, you will have to keep paying. The best thing to do is to run a full malware scan of your device (you didn’t say what kind of device you have). If it doesn’t find anything, that is further evidence that there is nothing to worry about.

Dude got ripped off buying my info

From Dave on May 12, 2020 :: 6:25 pm

So I got the one with “here’s your password”.  Only thing it that yeah it was a password, a password I used on a comicbook fan website back around 1997.  Holy crap someone actually paid for a twenty plus year old password file.  Sad.  Don’t worry folks, just keep rotating your passwords and you’ll be fine. 

But it would be cool to see what I look like wanking it to a non-existant webcam.  I’m old and retired, a video of me loping the mule isn’t going matter.

Reply

I’m not super concerned but I am

From Eli on May 13, 2020 :: 8:21 pm

I got one email, and I was really scared. Then I came across this article and I felt much better. But the thing is I watched it on my phone that had a camera, and then I got the email sent on my computer, through outlook (because I don’t have outlook on my phone). So first how’d they get my email and how safe am I. Should I be concerned? They didn’t address any password, my name, or any video or picture of me. It still scares me though!

Reply

here’s the original message

From Eli on May 13, 2020 :: 9:10 pm

Hi!
I will be direct. You watch adult content often and I caught
you masturbating. We all do it from time to time. How I did this? Your router was vulnerable.
I was able to inject some code into the firmware,  and every device connected on the network, including phones, was compromised.
Then I set every device available to record with the camera only when you watch adult content. I also got your contact lists, phone numbers, emails, social media contacts, and here is the deal.
If you don`t pay me 900 dollars worth in BTC, I will send your masturbation video and search history to all your contacts.
Amount: 0.1 BTC (approximately)
BTC Account:
1J4QqY1yxE3CtPZTLVHG7ahZsf21fe9VtU
The account is cAsE sensitive, so just copy and paste it.
Quick tip! You can buy BTC from Coinbase, , Paxful etc.
Use Google to find it.
In case you wonder why your antiviruses were not triggered
is because my code is not set to steal passwords,
PIN codes,and other sensitive details.
The only function is to record with the cameras(in silent mode) and grab the contacts.

You have 72 hours (3 days) to send the payment.
When coins are submitted, the video with you doing…
you know what will be destroyed, and you will never hear from me.

Don’t show this to anyone, this is our little secret!
Next time you cover your cameras, somebody may watch it!

Reply

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