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Is the Porn Blackmail Scam Real?

by on March 12, 2018
in Computer Safety & Support, News, Computers and Software, Blog :: 446 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 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 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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They're evolving the letter -- they're desparate

From T.L. Hanson on July 28, 2018 :: 6:08 pm

Hey everyone, I “got my letter” a week ago. Interesting how they’re evolving. These people evidently read these kinds of forums. Commenters have said “don’t they know it takes a few days to buy and transact business with Bitcoins?” Well… now their emails say “you have one day to pay, but it takes a few days to get Bitcoins—so better get moving!”  Then commenters say “when I got this email, it scared me”.  (you’re not alone)... and “I’m so glad I found this site” (like this one—with all the comments from people). Now they add to the email: “don’t go on google and look this up, otherwise my “tracker” will know and I’ll send your video out even before the deadline to pay me!”  Well, I can tell you—it’s been a week… and no video’s been sent out about me!  And as others have said “if they’re really gathering your information—at the time they captured your face from your webcam—don’t you think it would be more impactful for their little bot program to pull an image from this “packet of information they gathered” and show a thumbnail image rather than some old password?  So yes—it’s a scam—and as others have said “sleep well tonight”.  But use this as a learning moment.  Go out and update passwords for critical accounts.  The email they used for me is 20+ years old and gets so much spam, I used this circumstance to just delete it.  I then spent a fair amount of time updating key emails I receive, online accounts, etc.  it took time, but it was worth doing.

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I got hacked

From Realist on July 30, 2018 :: 6:21 am

To me it happend the same just i havent watched any porn but in arcade i have lefted my e-mail and wrong password.
I was wery scared and i was thinking should i pay 1000$ or not. Because i the email they had was my jobs mail and there were a lot of names so i was upset.

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Al Bernardi

From Just Me on July 30, 2018 :: 9:09 am

Just had an email from [ Al Bernardi ]

It is just your misfortune that I came across your misadventures. In fact, I placed a malware on the adult vids (pornography) and you visited this website to experience fun (you know what I mean). When you were busy watching video clips, your internet browser began operating as a Rdp (Remote desktop) having a keylogger which provided me with accessibility to your screen and web cam. Right after that, my software program collected all of your contacts from your facebook, and email.

I then put in more hours than I probably should’ve investigating into your life and made a two view video. 1st part shows the recording you had been viewing and next part displays the view of your web cam (its you doing nasty things).

Honestly, I am willing to forget exactly about you and allow you to continue with your regular life. And I am going to present you 2 options that can accomplish this. The above options are either to ignore this letter, or simply pay me $ 2900. Let’s understand above 2 options in more details.

First Option is to ignore this message. Let us see what is going to happen if you opt this path. I will certainly send your video recording to all of your contacts including family members, colleagues, and many others. It won’t save you from the humiliation you and your family will have to feel when friends and family discover your unpleasant videos from me.

Option 2 is to pay me $ 2900. We will name this my “confidentiality charges”. Now lets see what will happen if you pick this path. Your secret will remain your secret. I will delete the recording immediately. You move on with your routine life as though nothing ever occurred.

Now you may be thinking, “I’ll just go to the cops”. Without a doubt, I have taken steps to ensure that this message cannot be traced back to me plus it won’t stop the evidence from destroying your life. I am not looking to steal all your savings. I just want to get compensated for efforts and time I put in investigating you. Let’s assume you’ve decided to produce this all vanish entirely and pay me the confidentiality fee. You’ll make the payment via Bitcoin (if you do not know how, search “how to buy bitcoins” in search engine)

Required Amount: $ 2900
Receiving Bitcoin Address: 17HLGhV7SUT*zR1539ePVh19K9YAwDtFemp (Delete * from this address then copy and paste it carefully)

Expalin no one what you will use the Bitcoins for or they will often not sell it to you. The method to get bitcoins may take a short time so do not put it off.
I have a special pixel within this email, and now I know that you’ve read this e-mail. You now have one day in order to make the payment. If I do not receive the BitCoin, I will definitely send out your video to all of your contacts including close relatives, coworkers, etc. You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. Nevertheless, if I receive the payment, I will erase the proof and all other proofs immediately. It is a non-negotiable offer, so please do not waste my time and yours. Time is running out. You should be aware that my software will be sharing the actions you adopt when you find yourself done reading this letter. Frankly, Should you something suspicious I am going to send your video to your friends and family, colleagues even before your time ends.

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received ANOTHER one today...I will

From BOB on August 02, 2018 :: 3:48 am

received ANOTHER one today…


I will directly come to the point. I know that ********* is your pass word. More importantly, I know your secret and I’ve evidence of this. You do not know me and no one hired me to look into you.

It’s just your bad luck that I found your blunder. In fact, I actually placed a malware on the adult vids (sexually graphic) and you visited this website to experience fun (you know what I mean). While you were busy watching videos, your internet browser started operating as a Rdp (Remote control desktop) with a keylogger which gave me accessibility to your display and cam. Right after that, my software obtained your complete contacts from your fb, and mailbox.

I then put in more time than I should’ve looking into your life and generated a double-screen video. 1st part displays the video you had been watching and 2nd part shows the video from your web cam (its you doing dirty things).

Frankly, I’m ready to forget everything about you and allow you to continue with your regular life. And I will offer you two options that can make it happen. These two choices are with the idea to ignore this letter, or simply pay me $1900. Let’s understand those 2 options in more details.

Option One is to ignore this email. You should know what is going to happen if you pick this path. I definitely will send your video to your entire contacts including members of your family, coworkers, and so on. It does not help you avoid the humiliation your family will need to feel when family and friends find out your dirty details from me.

Other Option is to make the payment of $1900. We will call it my “privacy fee”. Now let me tell you what will happen if you opt this option. Your secret will remain your secret. I will destroy the video immediately. You move on with your daily life as if nothing ever occurred.

Now you may be thinking, “Let me call cops”. Let me tell you, I have taken steps to ensure this mail can’t be linked to me plus it won’t steer clear of the evidence from destroying your health. I am not seeking to steal all your savings. I am just looking to get compensated for my efforts I place into investigating you. Let’s assume you have decided to make all of this go away and pay me my confidentiality fee. You will make the payment via Bitcoins (if you don’t know how, type “how to buy bitcoins” on search engine)

Transfer Amount: $1900
Receiving Bitcoin Address: 162ZLF7P4M7*NVVwEonaQ91sLzCiEbDjRZY (Remove * from this address and copy and paste it carefully)

Expalin no-one what you should use the bitcoin for or they will often not give it to you. The process to acquire bitcoin can take a day or two so do not wait.
I have a specific pixel in this email message, and at this moment I know that you’ve read through this email message. You now have 24 hours in order to make the payment. If I don’t receive the Bitcoin, I will definitely send out your video recording to your contacts including members of your family, colleagues, and so on. You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. However, if I do get paid, I’ll destroy the recording and all other proofs immediately. It’s a non negotiable one time offer, thus please do not waste my personal time and yours. Your time is running out. You should be aware that my tracker will still be sharing what action you’re taking when you’re done reading this message. Honestly, If you google anything inappropriate then I am going to send your sextape to your family members, co-workers even before time finishes.
...

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Same mail

From Milovan on July 30, 2018 :: 11:35 am

I got same mail today, but I’m using thunderbird for mail, and it said it took from outlook my contacts and from messinger, demanding 1000$, but it was sent from mail info@mx-a-03.stcable.net
What happend with ypu guys that you recived same mail? Did your friend and other contacs got mail video of you?

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Phishing Blackmail

From D Crane on July 30, 2018 :: 11:50 am

I just received a similar email asking for $8030.  Said it had all my Facebook & gmail contacts and would send out “split screen” pictures of me.  Since, to my knowledge, I’ve never had a webcam on my computer, the email password they had was one that I have not used in the last 8 to 10 years, and I’ve never done what they said (although I have a son, and a roommate who both have used my computer in the past so can’t say where they went online).  I reported it as spam to gmail. I am 75, if they think they can ruin my life, they are a little late.

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Post-experience?

From Mark on October 10, 2018 :: 4:48 am

Hi,

I’ve got a similar e-mail and the deadline is approaching in few hours.

I am almost sure they have no video of me but anyway they know too much about me, so I wonder a little if they anyway can harm.

Since your deadline has now gone, may I ask whether you experienced any problems after the deadline? I can also provide my private e-mail address if you would rather write privately.

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Blackmail email

From Mark on July 30, 2018 :: 4:07 pm

I received this today

Sent from my iPad

On 30 Jul 2018, at 17:12, Darin Homaee <zwdsylvesterwza@outlook.com> wrote:

It is just so unfortunate. I know that xxxxxxxx is your password. Moreover, I know your secret and I have evidence of this. You do not know me and no one employed me to examine you.

It’s just your hard luck that I came across your bad deeds. The truth is, I placed a malware on the adult video clips (pornography) and you visited this site to experience fun (you know what I mean). When you were watching videos, your internet browser began working as a Rdp (Remote desktop) with a keylogger which provided me accessibility to your screen and cam. After that, my software obtained your entire contacts from your messenger, social networks, as well as email.

I then put in much more time than I should’ve exploring into your life and made a double screen video. 1st part shows the video you had been watching and second part displays the capture of your web cam (its you doing dirty things).

Frankly, I am willing to forget details about you and allow you to continue with your life. And my goal is to provide you 2 options which will accomplish this. The above choices are to either ignore this letter, or simply just pay me $2700. Let’s investigate these 2 options in more details.

First Option is to ignore this email message. You should know what will happen if you take this option. I will definately send out your video to your contacts including close relatives, coworkers, and so forth. It doesn’t shield you from the humiliation you and your family will face when family and friends learn your dirty videos from me.

Option 2 is to pay me $2700. We will name it my “confidentiality fee”. Now lets see what happens if you choose this path. Your secret will remain your secret. I’ll delete the video immediately. You go on with your lifetime like none of this ever happened.

Now you must be thinking, “I’ll just go to the cops”. Without a doubt, I have covered my steps to make sure that this message cannot be tracked returning to me and it won’t prevent the evidence from destroying your lifetime. I’m not trying to break your bank. I am just looking to be paid for my efforts I placed into investigating you. Let’s hope you decide to generate all of this disappear completely and pay me my confidentiality fee. You will make the payment via Bitcoins (if you do not know this, search “how to buy bitcoins” in google)

Transfer Amount: $2700
Send To This Bitcoin Address: 1Emk*6En2VmPXq5TcXaRhaE2ziheA66cFsR (You need to Delete * from this address and copy and paste it carefully)

Tell nobody what will you be transferring the bitcoin for or they might not give it to you. The method to get bitcoin may take a couple of days so do not procrastinate.
I have a specific pixel within this e mail, and at this moment I know that you have read through this message. You now have 24 hours in order to make the payment. If I do not receive the BitCoins, I will definitely send out your video recording to all of your contacts including close relatives, co-workers, and so on. You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. Having said that, if I receive the payment, I’ll destroy the proof immediately. It’s a non-negotiable one time offer, thus don’t waste my personal time and yours. The clock is ticking. You should be aware that my malware will still be recording the actions you’re taking when you find yourself done looking over this message. Let me assure you that If you search anything suspicious then I am going to share your videotape to your members of your family, co-workers before your your deadline.


Anyone had this from that email address or similar. The password is an old one and only used on minor sites like gumtree

I am ignoring it, cheeky so and so’s
Would never pay a ransom and my email address has been around many many tears

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Post-experience?

From Mark on October 10, 2018 :: 4:45 am

Hi,

I’ve got a similar e-mail and the deadline is approaching in few hours.


Since your deadline has now gone, may I ask whether you experienced any problems after the deadline? I can also provide my private e-mail address if you would rather write privately.

Reply

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Thieving bastards

From Gerry on July 30, 2018 :: 4:47 pm

Moses Swanlund <uqcarlosuha@hotmail.com>
 
19:41 (4 hours ago)
 
to me
This is your badluck. I am aware XXXXXXXXXXX is your password. Moreover, I know about your secret and I’ve evidence of this. You don’t know me and no one employed me to look into you.

It’s just your hard luck that I came across your bad deeds. In fact, I actually placed a malware on the adult video clips (porno) and you visited this web site to experience fun (you know what I mean). While you were watching video clips, your web browser initiated working as a Rdp (Remote control desktop) with a key logger which provided me with access to your display and also webcam. Right after that, my software gathered every one of your contacts from facebook, as well as email.

I then put in more time than I should have looking into your life and made a two screen video. 1st part displays the recording you had been viewing and second part shows the recording from your cam (its you doing dirty things).

Honestly, I am willing to forget about you and allow you to continue with your regular life. And I will present you 2 options that may accomplish that. Those two options are with the idea to ignore this letter, or perhaps pay me $2700. Let’s investigate those two options in more details.

Option 1 is to ignore this email. Let me tell you what is going to happen if you take this path. I will definitely send your video to all of your contacts including family members, coworkers, etc. It will not save you from the humiliation your self will ought to feel when friends learn your sordid details from me.

Other Option is to make the payment of $2700. We’ll call this my “confidentiality charges”. Now lets see what happens if you choose this path. Your secret will remain your secret. I’ll destroy the video immediately. You move on with your daily life that nothing ever happened.

At this point you must be thinking, “I’m going to report to the cops”. Let me tell you, I’ve covered my steps to ensure this mail cannot be traced time for me and yes it will not steer clear of the evidence from destroying your lifetime. I am not seeking to dig a hole in your pocket. I just want to be paid for efforts and time I placed into investigating you. Let’s assume you decide to make pretty much everything vanish entirely and pay me my confidentiality fee. You’ll make the payment via Bitcoins (if you do not know this, type “how to buy bitcoins” on google)

Amount to be paid: $2700
Send To This Bitcoin Address: 1KVsDgzoUsS*FhL9cyVez8DcgvgQuFqrECE (Edit * from this address and note it carefully)

Tell no person what will you use the Bitcoins for or they may not give it to you. The method to have bitcoin may take a day or two so do not procrastinate.
I have a specific pixel in this e mail, and now I know that you’ve read through this e mail. You have two days in order to make the payment. If I do not receive the Bitcoins, I will definitely send your video recording to all of your contacts including members of your family, coworkers, etc. You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. Nonetheless, if I receive the payment, I’ll erase the proof immediately. It is a non-negotiable one time offer, thus kindly don’t ruin my personal time & yours. Time is running out. Let me remind you, my malware will still be recording what action you adopt when you are done reading this message. To be honest, If I see any suspicious activity from your search history I am going to send out your video to your members of your family, colleagues before your time finishes.

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I received a blackmail email this morning

From Patricia Louise Shenk on July 31, 2018 :: 4:36 pm

This morning, I received the below blackmail email;

“Humberto Godfrey <nhclevelandox@hotmail.com>  Today at 11:14 AM
To   patricia.shenk@sbcglobal.net

I will cut to the chase. I know that ........ is your pass word. Most importantly, I’m aware about your secret and I’ve evidence of your secret. You don’t know me and no one employed me to check out you.

It’s just your misfortune that I came across your misadventures. The truth is, I actually setup a malware on the adult videos (porn material) and you visited this web site to experience fun (you know what I mean). While you were watching video clips, your internet browser started functioning as a Rdp (Remote control desktop) having a key logger which provided me with accessibility to your display screen as well as webcam. Right after that, my software gathered your entire contacts from facebook, and e-mail.

I then put in more time than I should have exploring into your life and generated a double screen video. First part shows the recording you were viewing and 2nd part shows the capture of your cam (its you doing dirty things).

Frankly, I’m ready to forget everything about you and let you move on with your life. And I am about to present you 2 options that can make it happen. The two options are either to ignore this letter, or perhaps pay me $3200. Let us investigate these 2 options in more detail.

First Option is to ignore this e mail. Let me tell you what is going to happen if you opt this path. I definitely will send your video recording to all of your contacts including family members, coworkers, and so on. It doesn’t save you from the humiliation your family will ought to feel when family and friends learn your unpleasant videos from me.

Second Option is to send me $3200. We will call this my “privacy charges”. Here is what will happen if you choose this path. Your secret will remain your secret. I will destroy the recording immediately. You continue on with your routine life like nothing like this ever happened.

At this point you may be thinking, “I will go to the cops”. Let me tell you, I’ve covered my steps to ensure this email can’t be linked returning to me plus it won’t steer clear of the evidence from destroying your health. I’m not looking to dig a hole in your pocket. I am just looking to get paid for time I put into investigating you. Let’s hope you have chosen to generate this all go away and pay me the confidentiality fee. You will make the payment by Bitcoins (if you don’t know this, search “how to buy bitcoins” in google search)

Required Amount: $3200
Bitcoin Address to Send: 1KKD*neAYWpXP43rTzEnAMnaVvKLaXTX74J (Remove * from this string then note it)

Tell no-one what you would be using the Bitcoins for or they might not give it to you. The procedure to acquire bitcoin usually takes a day or two so do not delay.
I’ve a special pixel in this e-mail, and now I know that you’ve read this e mail. You have one day to make the payment. If I do not receive the BitCoin, I will, no doubt send your video recording to all your contacts including members of your family, colleagues, and so on. You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. Nonetheless, if I do get paid, I’ll destroy the video immediately. It is a non negotiable offer, thus do not ruin my time and yours. Your time is running out. Please note that, my malware will still be sharing what action you adopt after you’re done reading this letter. You should know If you try to act smart I’ll share your sextape to your close relatives, co-workers before your your deadline.”
—-

My computer was hijacked a year ago by a supposed Windows 10 representative. I bet this is the guy.  Also, the password he provided above where I put ..... is not an active one, but one that I did have a year ago on bank accounts and job sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, CareerBuilder, etc.  So it’s quite possible this is the hijacker.  Also, banks and job sites have been hacked and private information has been stolen, mine among them. This guy might be one of those, if not the hijacker of my computer.  Also, I do Not have facebook, so this leads me to think he is tossing a wide net to scare me.  Also, I don’t go to porn sites.

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I received this today

From Lola on August 01, 2018 :: 1:52 pm

I received the same email today and I know I don´t have to worry about it but I feel really compelled to email back and tell whomever to go F*** themselves

This is your badluck. I do know XXXXXXXX is your password. Most importantly, I know your secret and I have evidence of your secret. You don’t know me and nobody employed me to check out you.

It’s just your hard luck that I stumbled across your bad deeds. Actually, I actually placed a malware on the adult videos (porn material) and you visited this web site to have fun (you know what I mean). While you were watching videos, your internet browser started out operating as a Rdp (Remote control desktop) with a keylogger which provided me accessibility to your display and webcam. Immediately after that, my software program collected all your contacts from facebook, and e-mail.

After that I gave in more hours than I probably should’ve digging into your life and created a two screen video. First part displays the recording you were viewing and 2nd part displays the view of your web camera (its you doing nasty things).

Honestly, I’m ready to forget everything about you and let you get on with your life. And I am about to give you 2 options that can accomplish this. These two choices with the idea to ignore this letter, or perhaps pay me $ 2900. Let’s understand above 2 options in details.

First Option is to ignore this mail. Let us see what is going to happen if you opt this option. I will definately send your video to your contacts including members of your family, colleagues, etc. It will not save you from the humiliation your self will must feel when family and friends find out your unpleasant videos from me.

Other Option is to send me $ 2900. We’ll call it my “privacy tip”. Now lets see what happens if you choose this path. Your secret remains your secret. I’ll destroy the video immediately. You move on with your lifetime like nothing like this ever happened.

At this point you may be thinking, “I should call the cops”. Without a doubt, I’ve covered my steps to ensure this e-mail cannot be traced back to me also it will not steer clear of the evidence from destroying your lifetime. 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 hope you have decided to generate all of this disappear completely and pay me my confidentiality fee. You will make the payment through Bitcoin (if you do not know how, type “how to buy bitcoins” on google)

Amount to be paid: $ 2900
Receiving Bitcoin Address: 19btsv8K7mA*hCUL4Ahxw89eUjq2YPUiEZd (You need to Delete * from this address then copy and paste it carefully)

Tell no person what you will be sending the Bitcoins for or they may not offer it to you. The process to acquire bitcoins may take a day or two so do not procrastinate.
I have a unique pixel within this e mail, and right now I know that you have read through this email message. You now have one day to make the payment. If I don’t receive the Bitcoin, I definitely will send your video to your contacts including close relatives, colleagues, and many others. You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. Nevertheless, if I receive the payment, I’ll destroy the video immediately. It is a non negotiable one time offer, thus do not ruin my time and yours. Time is running out. You should be aware that my malware is going to be tracking the actions you take when you find yourself done reading this letter. You should know If you search something suspicious then I am going to share your video to your relatives, colleagues even before your your deadline.

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Is it a scam

From Carolin on August 02, 2018 :: 1:26 pm

I have been sick with worry since I got this he said he was Richard forget second name looked for 1900 bitcoins. I thought it was real as desktop did actually come on   please tell me it’s fake. He gave old Facebook password but current yahoo email.  I am very very worried

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How is this different?

From Josh Kirschner on August 02, 2018 :: 2:05 pm

What you describe is already covered in the article above. Why do you think your email is any different?

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Happened to me but from my own mail address

From DaveTM on August 04, 2018 :: 12:06 pm

Well everything said, the scammers sent me the mail ftom my mail address. So would should I do?

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Dont worry. Its very easy

From Lee on August 06, 2018 :: 5:59 am

Dont worry. Its very easy to make an email appear to be sent from any address.

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Same e-mail

From Pieter on August 06, 2018 :: 8:08 am

received same e-mail 02-August. Only opened 6th. Was using an “open” network at a conference in the week and the password in the e-mail was the one for the user that i created to access the “learning” portal on the browser.
Thanks for the info JOSH!!!!! Was concerned that I somehow will be photoshop(ped).
Steveon Williams’ comment above is way too funny… thanks man!

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Questions and Answer about the New Fraud and Scam

From Bobby5000 on August 07, 2018 :: 9:42 pm

1. Q. Why does this happen. Isn’t it a crime. 

  A.  There is very, very little enforcement of this type of crime.  Local police generally profess there is not within their jurisdiction and referred it to the state, state agencies are quite limited, and are sent to federal agencies who generally create a file and do nothing. 

2. Q . Won’t the lack of enforcement encourage scammers, increase the number of crimes, victimize many, and allow the stolen monies to fund more vicious criminal activity. 

A Yes absolutely.

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Scaremongering

From Not Entered on August 10, 2018 :: 12:45 pm

I have received about 7 in the last couple of days saying they have my MySpace password. Haven’t used MySpace since the early 2000’s.

These emails are absolute bull$h!t

Go to https://haveibeenpwned.com and put your email address in.
If it says you’ve been pwned, they have your email address and possibly (in my case) an old email address and an old/invalid password.
If you have been pwned, change your password *anywhere* you use the email address and password and move on with your life.

Other funny thing is of all the emails I’ve received, they all have different bitcoin addresses.

All I do is report the email to spamcop.net and hope that the Russian provider
Re: 46.161.42.79 (Administrator of network where email originates)
To: abuse@pinspb.ru (Notes)
eventually kicks these clowns off their platform so they can move onto another one.

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Same with mobile number

From J. on August 10, 2018 :: 6:04 pm

I received a mail referencing the last four digits of my mobile phone number in stead of a password. Should I equally ignore it?
Text is identical to one of your examples?

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Yes, ignore it.

From Josh Kirschner on August 10, 2018 :: 9:43 pm

Your phone number could easily have been revealed in a breach, or even uncovered from public records.

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Something is up

From Steve on August 13, 2018 :: 3:51 pm

Something is up with this scam.

On my android phone I have 2 gmail accounts configured and received the scam email to both accounts one second apart. The poor wordings, grammar and bitcoin addresses were different but the timestamp was no coincidence. Further, this is the only device that has both email addresses configured. There is no other link between the 2 gmail accounts.

Bticoin addresses:
1AbeVdP2AHEqwPE1AqXoc9h4uK8Y1fk8zC
14CceMfhLhYEY8XHW5UR1afhGnGaMREt79

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Here's the one I got

From Jabroni on August 14, 2018 :: 3:17 am

Here’s mine, the only thing that bothers me is how did they get my phone number?
I wanted to reply and tell them to go ahead but I guess you’re not supposed to reply to these? I just reported it as phishing scam.
I don’t like that they have my number though.


It seems that, 480-xxx-xxx9, is your phone. You may not know me and you are probably wondering why you are getting this e mail, right?
actually, I setup a malware on the adult vids (porno) web-site and guess what, you visited this site to have fun (you know what I mean). While you were watching videos, your internet browser started out functioning as a RDP (Remote Desktop) having a keylogger which gave me accessibility to your screen and web cam. after that, my software program obtained all of your contacts from your Messenger, FB, as well as email.
What did I do?
I backuped phone. All photo, video and contacts.
I created a double-screen video. 1st part shows the video you were watching (you’ve got a good taste haha . . .), and 2nd part shows the recording of your web cam.
exactly what should you do?
Well, in my opinion, $1000 is a fair price for our little secret. You’ll make the payment by Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search “how to buy bitcoin” in Google).
BTC Address:

1NQrcoefW8Ky33oEMC57vqD6KuFY4h7crS

(It is cAsE sensitive, so copy and paste it)
Important:
You have 48 hour in order to make the payment. (I’ve a unique pixel in this e mail, and at this moment I know that you have read through this email message). If I do not get the BitCoins, I will certainly send out your video recording to all of your contacts including relatives, coworkers, and so on. Having said that, if I receive the payment, I’ll destroy the video immidiately. If you need evidence, reply with “Yes!” and I will certainly send out your video recording to your 6 contacts. It is a non-negotiable offer, that being said don’t waste my personal time and yours by responding to this message. ”

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I received the same

From Tom on August 16, 2018 :: 11:52 pm

I just came across the same email has Jabroni. The bitcoin address was different and the real odd thing is that the partial phone number is my home phone, not my mobile. ???

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EMAIL RECEIVED

From CLAYELL on August 20, 2018 :: 11:33 am

I received a similar email today.  It was sent to my work email that my name is not attached to.  i want to mess with these people so bad.  is there harm in replying to the email?

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Letter

From Fubar on August 21, 2018 :: 8:46 pm

Today I received an actual letter in the mail at my home with the same webcam/porn scam. Apparently my physical address was included in some breach that the hackers are now using. Beware.

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Yes, it's a variation on the same scam

From Josh Kirschner on August 22, 2018 :: 8:19 am

The physical letter variation of the scam has been around for a couple of years. Usually, it threatens to blackmail you for cheating on your wife, rather than watching porn, but same idea. I wrote up a separate article on it here: https://www.techlicious.com/blog/cheating-on-wife-blackmail-scam/

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HAHA

From Abbie Appleby on August 25, 2018 :: 10:49 pm

I got this e-mail today too asking for bitcoins or they post that I watch porn and do things on cam well I just reported the email and put in junk…the fact that they can see inside my room with no cam is amazing…I have a PC with no cam linked to it and has never been linked to it…so for them to have all this info is really amazing everyone should either cover there cam or take it out and only use it for special times…like chat or whatever…and if they did contact my friends family I don’t and never watch porn on my PC so this proves 100pct that its just sent to everyone

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I recieved this e-mail today

From Jonathan Pettitt on August 27, 2018 :: 8:16 am

Subject: this is some thing that i most certainly recommend you to study carefully
Victoria White <“tdmtn@www.possibilityfreak.com”@p3nlhg188.shr.prod.phx3.secureserver.net>
Today, 11:24
You
Hey there

Im absolutely not the individual who likes to talk a whole lot, as a result this will be very short. You\‘re in deep crap! About a month past you were contaminated with my RAT trojan #57840233. And all this time, each and every fucking morning it had been delivering me a lot of fascinating information, correspondence, access to your social accounts, contact info as well as the images from the screen and the digicam, plus the sound from your mic.

Couldn\‘t actually locate notably useful information to me, although was lucky enough to make a few films that have been saved while you\‘ve frequented web pages for grownups. I wasn\‘t even laid back and built a movie exactly where on one half of it is the display, and on the other a live image from the cam. It ended up not bad in anyway, though I am certainly not good at editing the videos. Regardless, Im confident your relatives and associates will really be thankful.

But do not run to pick which approach of committing suicide is going to be the best option for yourself. This issue can be sorted simply. We\‘re all human beings and can negotiate. So: I supply you with the my wallet address, which I made exclusively for you and in the following 5 days I will simply wait for the sum of 300 bucks inside it. When I get this money - I will ignore your living and remove all the information that came with your unit. If not, be certain I will deliver this material to all contacts which my software seen. Maybe I will even get it done using your accounts.

I only accept btc (cryptocurency). If you could have problem with this currency - you are able to simply find details on how to use it in Research engines or dailymotion or whatever.

this account -

1PK9XXaRwU4pjvFmHjN17miinpRWD1K9K

I do not suggest you to make contact with the police, cops will not manage to locate me faster than the settlement deadline since I\‘m from foreign nation, and in addition take excellent care of my anonymousness. Think twice prior to you throw away stupid actions, your status and further existence depend on it.

Don\‘t try to message me. I use 1-time email and your reply is simply will not be delivered.

All the best!
—————
Is this a scam… it seems so vague to be real?

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Don't worry... This is a scam

From Anonymous on August 28, 2018 :: 7:03 am

This is a scam. Don’t worry. They are getting creative grin

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Shoul i be concerned

From JCF on August 29, 2018 :: 5:54 am

Hello!
I received 3 diferent messages like those ones, all three with difernt amounts to pay by bitcoin, 1 250dollars, 2 400 dollars and the last 350 dollars. thefirst one was in June, the second a week ago and yesterday another one. the first two i blocked them and send them to spam, but the last one i´ll show you here: “Hi, viсtim.
This is my last warning.
I write you becаuse I рut а malwarе оn the wеb page with роrn which yоu havе visitеd.
My virus grаbbed all yоur реrsоnаl infо аnd turnеd on your сamerа whiсh capturеd the рrocess оf your оnаnism. Just аftеr that thе soft sаvеd yоur cоntact list.
I will delеte thе cоmрrоmising video and infо if yоu раy me 350 EURO in bitcоin. This is addrеss fоr pаyment : 1NskZD8meWhYbhmjSjiAnyaJm8BG5ax27H
I give yоu 30 hours after you oрen my messagе fоr mаking the trаnsaction.
As sооn as you rеad the messagе I’ll seе it right аway.
It is not necessary to tell me thаt you havе sent mоnеy to me. This addrеss is сonnеcted to yоu, my system will dеletе evеrything automаtiсаlly аftеr transfеr сonfirmation.
If you need 48 h just reply оn this lettеr with +.
You сan visit thе policе statiоn but nоbody саn helр yоu.
If you try tо deсeive mе , I’ll sее it right away !
I dont livе in yоur cоuntry. Sо they cаn not track my lосаtiоn еven fоr 9 months.
Goodbye. Dont fоrgеt about thе shаme аnd tо ignore, Yоur life can bе ruinеd.”
Shoul i be worried about this?
Thanks

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Seeking Advice

From WORRIED on September 02, 2018 :: 2:24 pm

I got this email as of 2 days back on Friday night just wanted to share and see if anyone has any insight after this email I checked my messages and there was an sms sent to an international number with a strange script on it seemed like gibberish to me anyways I have reset my android to factory settings your thoughts would be appreciated the last 4 digits in the mail below are correct and belong to my mobile number.

##Last digits 3703 is your phone$


$$$You installed malware plugin$


##I backuped all contact****

$$$$$I recorded private video with the phone@@@@@


***Have Questions?$$

$Answer to mail##

$And we doing trade for silent@
##Time started. 48 hour@@@

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Me too

From Angel on September 03, 2018 :: 12:33 pm

Received the same kind of email as WORRIED.

The deadline of 48h should end tomorrow for me. Though they asked for money in exchange of their silence, they haven’t specified any bitcoin account nor amount Weird.

Well I guess I’ll see what happens. Hopefully nothing.
Anyone experiencing the same?

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It's a scam

From Russ Michaels on September 04, 2018 :: 1:08 pm

Don’t believe it, it is all a scam. They have your personal details from a hacked website.

Read this.
https://michaels.me.uk/adult-website-blackmail-scam/

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Computer password

From Miguel on September 06, 2018 :: 4:56 am

I’m not scared but I do worry. I got an e-mail just as many others… My webcam is blocked… but the thing is, they used my computer-password that I only use to unlock my MacBook.
That does make me worry… should I?

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No, don't worry

From Josh Kirschner on September 06, 2018 :: 9:14 am

You likely used that password on some site in the distant past ad have forgotten about it. Did you check the password here: https://haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords?

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this is making me really anxious.

From Lianne on September 10, 2018 :: 5:04 pm

this is the email i received at early sunday morning:

I don’t want to accuse you, but…

Olivia Bell <rphnr@www.hand-s.com>
Sun 2018-09-09, 12:55 AM
Whats up (my first and last name)

I will be as short as possible. Pal you’re in deepest shit. Your own pc was poisoned with my favorite RAT 97091308 about 1 months earlier . Since i gained access and registered lots of stuff as a result, like your sound source aka mic, cam, social account, contacts etc.

Despite the fact that i couldn’t locate anything special for myself personally, although i did capture certain activities with you browsing adult content material pages.  Therefore i ended up creating a vid from it, separated in half, your arse and webpages you have been on. Turned out excellent, eventhough modifying videos is not my robust aspect. Anyways, people around you really should love it.

The good thing is that we can get down to business, so do
not worry yet. Here is the offer: I can give you my transaction address so that you can work out this matter within the next 3 working days, 150 us dollars this is the amount of money that should show up in it. All the things will be gone, and so i won’t trouble you no more, if not, be sure every fucking person from your list of contacts will see the shit.

Here is the only transaction solution offered I btc. Therefore find out or whatever in case you have no idea how you can make use of it.

I only accept btc

my wallet -

16D1ZNrFzS1MLsnoe2AC66wLUxVtgZHr2Q

All my actions on the net are fully protected, thus do not perhaps try to search for help from experts, you’ll certainly be screwed imidiately. as a result think of your reputation several times

My e mail can only be used one time, do
not worry replying also, i will not get anything at all coming from you.

Expect you are going to pick a appropriate option

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Scam sent from my own email adress

From D on September 14, 2018 :: 5:11 pm

Hey there, just got an email in italian language, i am currently in italy for holydays, how do the know. Email was sent from my own email adress, what i think is not possible

Malware scan also found 1 item that now is ereased from my phone

Google translate: Hi, dear .....
.....net user.
We have installed a remote access trojan on your device.
For the moment your email account is hacked (see, now I have access to your accounts).
I downloaded all the confidential information from your system and I also have other tests.
The most interesting thing I discovered are the videos where you masturbate.
I had incorporated a virus on the porn site after which you installed it on your operating system.
When you clicked on Play a porn video, at that moment your device downloaded my trojan.
After installation your front camera shoots you every time you masturbate, plus the software is synchronized with videos that you choose.
For now, the software has collected all the information about your contacts from social networks and all email addresses.
If you want me to delete all the data collected, you must transfer $ 300 to BTC (cryptocurrency).
This is my Bitcoin wallet: 1CSsVgPgwTNLGgQCHRBPa7ZNH7oxK9cf2k
Once you read this message you have 2 days available.
As soon as you have made the transaction all your data will be deleted.
Otherwise I will send the videos with your mischief to all your colleagues and friends !!!
And from now on, be more careful!
Please visit only safe sites!
Hello!


Could that be rael?

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Thanks

From rory hatchett on September 14, 2018 :: 8:18 pm

I hav ejust receive done of these black mail e-mails.
The concern for this one is that had a copy of one of my passwords, I hvae no idea where they got that from
Any suggestions

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Sextorsion email sent via MY OWN email address

From Ned Sha on September 18, 2018 :: 4:21 am

Hi there,

Just a quick question if anybody can help shedding some light. I also received an email of this type BUT it was sent from my own email address… I can’t see anything on that as everybody else’s seems to have been sent from a bogus mail address. I have no intention to pay even a nickel no matter what but did anybody else receive one from their own email address? WHat happened after the deadline? I changed all my passwords and deleted my contacts just in case for future hackers… Thanks in advance for any comment, answer, advice

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I also received same mail

From franula on September 18, 2018 :: 6:32 am

I also received same mail from my own email adress. Thing is they broke into my paypal account and spent 100$ on itunes gift card and 100$ on PSN USA gift card..

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Email was probably spoofed from your address, not sent

From Josh Kirschner on September 18, 2018 :: 3:28 pm

It’s pretty easy to spoof a sending email address, so I highly doubt it was sent from your own email.  Since your email address was likely revealed in some breach, it’s always a safe idea to change your passwords, too, just in case that info was also revealed and you share it with other accounts, like your email.

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Thanks for your answer. You're

From Ned Sha on September 22, 2018 :: 8:47 am

Thanks for your answer. You’re right. The time of sending the email was widely off…Dead give away and I forgot to look at it…Glad to report that indeed, 48h later, nothing happened!Changed all my email passwords as advised, just in case grin

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No, it's not real.

From John Smith on September 20, 2018 :: 3:24 pm

Here’s one that showed up - in one of my mailboxes.  It’s all crap, including the embedded pixel image they claimed to have.  What’s stupid about it, is I can recognize a password I have.  Scammers are stupid.


932242321865006 one of your password. Lets get right to the point. You do not know me and you are most likely wondering why you’re getting this mail? No one has compensated me to check about you.

In fact, I actually setup a software on the 18+ streaming (sex sites) web-site and do you know what, you visited this website to have fun (you know what I mean). When you were watching videos, your web browser initiated working as a RDP that has a key logger which gave me accessibility to your screen as well as cam. Immediately after that, my software program obtained your complete contacts from your Messenger, FB, and e-mail . And then I made a double video. 1st part shows the video you were viewing (you have a good taste ; )), and next part shows the view of your web camera, yea its u.

You actually have just two choices. Why dont we look at each one of these possibilities in particulars:

First choice is to just ignore this message. In that case, I will send out your very own tape to every bit of your contacts and thus think regarding the humiliation you feel. And likewise should you be in a romance, exactly how it is going to affect?

Next alternative will be to give me $3000. We will describe it as a donation. In this instance, I will straightaway remove your video recording. You could go on with your daily ro utine like this never occurred and you will never hear back again from me.

You’ll make the payment via Bitcoin (if you don’t know this, search “how to buy bitcoin” in Google).

BTC Address to send to: 1BFtaosxbo4tH4GZ8pXXs7hTapCknVfEaV
[case SENSITIVE so copy & paste it]

If you are wondering about going to the authorities, well, this e mail can not be traced back to me. I have dealt with my actions. I am just not trying to charge a fee a lot, I would like to be paid.

You now have one day to pay. I’ve a special pixel within this e-mail, and right now I know that you have read through this email message. If I don’t receive the BitCoins, I will definately send out your video to all of your contacts including family members, coworkers, and so forth. Having said that, if I receive the payment, I will destroy the video immediately. If you need proof, reply with Yeah & I definitely will send out your video to your 8 contacts. This is a non-negotiable offer, so please do not waste mine time and yours by replying to this email message.

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hahahha 1900 keep spying on me

From Joe Esquivel on September 24, 2018 :: 6:52 pm

why spying on me i do know how is done but why?

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Same scam, but came from my own email?

From Jonathan Wald on September 25, 2018 :: 5:03 pm

I got the same scam email today, but it came from my own email address, even though the password they cited is very old.

How could they send an email from my address without the current password?

And is there any action I should take?

Thanks for the article about this scam, it was a definite relief to me!

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Another one

From N2KMaster on September 27, 2018 :: 5:35 pm

Subject:you’re fucked, i really know your personal secret, therefore i suggest you to check out this.

Sender: admin@onoranzefunebribologna.info (went to the site, its someones funeral site overseas)

Body:Hi there n2kmaster

I’m planning to get straight to the point. I’m Osborne97 and I am aware of the facts you are trying to keep from your
partner and also all the others. Furthermore, i have information of exactly what you have been covering up. I won’t go into the details
right here in the event that your wife will find this, although you are aware of what i’m speaking about.

You do not really know me personally and also nobody hired me to check into you, Nor did i go out looking to melt you. It happens to be simply your
awful fortune that I landed across your adventures while working. Then i put in additional time rather than I
likely must have investigating your life. Seriously, I’m ready to ignore facts concerning you personally and help you get on with your wellbeing.
And also I’m about to offer you couple of solutions that may achieve that thing. only two choices in order to possibly forget this
letter, or simply pay me $1200. Let’s learn those 2 solutions in a bit more depth.

Option 1 would be to pay no attention to this particular email. Please let me explain just what could happen if perhaps you end up picking this trail. I will take this information and
deliver it to your spouse. And as insurance protection against you intercepting it before your spouse gets it, I will even send out copies to her
mates, parents and to all your closest community. Therefore, Kent, even if you plan to arrive clean with your lady, it is not going to
preserve her from the mortification she may feel if her family discover your sleazy info from me.

Solution Two will be to give myself $1200, We are going to name the following my “privacy payment”. So, let me tell you what arises in the event that you pick
this course. Your top secret continues to be your top secret. You carry on with your everyday life as though none of the following possibly occurred. Although you
may want to do a better job at attempting to keep your misdeeds hidden in long run.

At this stage you may be imagining, “I am going to just head over to the authorities.” Which is why I took further steps to be sure this mail can’t be
traced to me. And so this is just not help, and yes it won’t prevent the evidence from demolishing your daily life. I’m not seeking to crack
your bank, i simply wish to be rewarded for the amount of time packed into analyzing you.

Ok let me assume you may have come to obvious point that your very best choice should be to cover the fee, You certainly will pay me
incognito utilizing btc. If perhaps you want me to hold your personal secret, then simply send $1200 in bitcoin to the receiving bitcoin
address posted in the bottom of this message. Settlement should be acquired within 9 days right after you will get that. Tell no-one you will be making use of the bitcoin for or they would possibly not give It to you. The procedure to
obtain btc might take a few days so don’t put it off. If I do not receive bitcoin by the deadline, I am going to proceed and
release the proof to everybody. after which the very least you could do is tell your wife so that she can tell her family and friends before they see the truth themselves.

====== BTC 19GqTJDhu7A1qg7rnK3KS7tmCkCTMTz6xD ====

At first it was kinda convincing, however….he called me Kent, mentions a housekeeper, family and wife…....I am not named Kent, I have no housekeeper, my family is literally dead, and wife…...Well i split up with a girlfriend 2 weeks ago…..lol not exactly my wife. From that point on i was LAUGHING at how bad this was.

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Can't believe people still fall

From scaredsheep on September 30, 2018 :: 11:31 pm

Can’t believe people still fall for these things!

Several of the BTC addresses shown in the comments received some bitcoin already, some of them have around $10K in BTC!

For all of you who are scared because your password is in the message, didn’t you take a minute to think that the scammer is just sending that email to millions, knowing that some of the recipients will use that password?

For example, I can send a million emails starting with:

“hi, I know that your password is ‘iloveyou’”

and because “iloveyou” is one of the most common passwords, it will for sure be the password of thousands of the people targeted. And, unbelievably, many of them will get scared and send $3K in BTC!

Pretty impressive.

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It's more complicated than that

From Jonathan Wald on October 01, 2018 :: 2:37 am

The password they included in my email was very specific to me - it’s not something anyone else would ever use - so they clearly had access.  But it was old, as with the other cases.

What I still don’t understand is how they sent the email from my email address….

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Spoofing email addresses is easy

From Josh Kirschner on October 01, 2018 :: 2:46 pm

It’s very easy for scammers to spoof an email address, including your own (see https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/scammers-spoof-email-address/). If you were to dig into the underlying header details, you would be able to tell that it is spoofed, but most people don’t know how to do this (from Gmail, for example, hit the three dots in the upper right corner of your email to bring down the menu and click “show original”. You’ll see the true sender in the header details).

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Thanks

From Jonathan Wald on October 01, 2018 :: 2:51 pm

I appreciate the explanation and the link smile

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Hey Josh,I actually left a

From scaredsheep on October 02, 2018 :: 7:04 am

Hey Josh,

I actually left a much better explanation, including how passwords are retrieved, and I posted that before your comment.

Are you going to approve that comment? Or are you playing the role of some kind of referee in my conversation with Jonathan, and came here to close the case with your “admin” power?

avatar

What comment are you referring to?

From Josh Kirschner on October 02, 2018 :: 7:51 am

Sacredsheep,

Your comment is already live just above. We have no other comment from you open or closed in our system. I don’t play referee with comments, except to remove spam, obscene material and the like. Did you post something else that isn’t appearing here?

In this case, you didn’t answer the question about the email spoofing, so I did. Also, the answer you gave re passwords probably isn’t what’s happening here. It’s possible that they’re simply using one of the common passwords like “iloveyou” as a phishing tool, but from what I’ve read from those who have had this issue (and from Jonathan above), the password seems to be much more personalized. Suggesting that they’re leveraging passwords that have come from a data leak for much better targeted attacks

Josh

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