Image: © depositphotos.com/ Elnur_
According to this email, the sender has made a video of you visiting a porn website. Supposedly, the sender installed malware on your computer that turned on your webcam and “recorded your masturbation” and copied your contact list.
He/she threatens to “send your shame to your friends, family members and other people” if you do not pay $500 in Bitcoin within 48 hours.
But, in fact, the email is just one – rather crudely rendered – version of a long series of such fake blackmail scams.
Here’s a transcript of the scam email:
Subject: Your Reputation
Hello my victim.
I have inficted your system with my malware one month ago.
You visted a porn site – xvideos. When you clicked on a video I turned on your webcamera and recorded your masturbation, also I have made a screenshot of your browser (nice category). After that I grabbed you contact list.
Nothing personal, but I am going to send your shame to your friends, family members and other people if you don’t pay me.
Send 500$ in bitcoins to this btc address 13KmBFJL56ptguPvDW8bKHg7rTU7SjT2gd and you will save your reputation. I give you 48 hours to complete the payment.
Cops won’t find me because I don’t live in your country.
The email is designed to trick you into sending money to criminals.
The scammer did not make a compromising video of you and he/she has not harvested your contact list or installed malware on your computer. These scammers send out many thousands of identical emails in the hope of tricking at least some victims into paying up.
The scammers will turn a sizable profit even if only a few of these thousands of recipients fall for the ruse.
More sophisticated versions of these sextortion scams use a variety of tactics to make it more likely that recipients will belive the claims and send money. Some include passwords taken from old data breaches. Others use a simple spoofing trick to make it appear that the email came from the victim’s own account.
But, regardless of what tricks they use or how the claims are presented, the underlying scam is the same.
It’s just a bluff. To reiterate, the scammers have not made the compromising video as claimed and they do not have your contact list. It’s all a blatant lie designed to panic you into complying.
After all, if scammers really had created a video, all they would need to do to prove it is send you a copy.
If you receive one of these sextortion scam emails, do not reply. Just hit the delete key.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!