This email claims that the sender has used a “private computer worm” to create a video of you “caressing your body” while you visited a porn website.
Supposedly, the sender not only activated your webcam to record the compromising video but also made a copy of your contact list. The sender threatens to post the compromising video to all of your contacts if you do not pay $440 in bitcoin.
However, the sender has not really recorded video of you or stolen your contact list. The email is just a bluff designed to panic you into sending money to online criminals.
If criminals really had infected your system with malware, harvested your personal information, and recorded video as claimed, then they would have all of these details and plenty more. And, they would almost certainly use at least some of this information to convince you that their threats were real.
This is just one version of many similar sextortion scam emails that have been hitting inboxes in recent months.
The scammers send out thousands of identical emails in the hope of netting at least a few victims. Even if only a tiny percentage of recipients fall for the trick and pay up, the scammers will make a profit.
It should be noted that it is possible to use malware to steal information from your computer and even activate the device’s camera. This adds a measure of plausibility to the scam emails that may help convince some victims to pay up.
But, with these fake blackmail scam messages, the criminals have not installed malware on your computer and have not created a video of you. To reiterate, they are just randomly distributing the same email to very large numbers of people and banking on the mathematical probability that at least a few people will be panicked enough to pay.
If you receive one of these emails, do not respond to it. Just hit the delete key.
Some Versions Include Passwords
Some versions of these scam emails increase the chance that the claims will be taken seriously because they include a valid password associated with one of the recipient’s accounts. Because of the included password, even people who have not been to an adult website may believe that the scammer has infiltrated their computer. As I discuss in more detail in a separate report, it appears that they are collecting the passwords and the associated email addresses from old data breaches. Many commentators have pointed out that the passwords in the emails are very old and no longer being used.
An example of the scam email:
Use this wallet address – [Removed]Think better: become popular or pay little bit to safe your social status.
Cops cant help. We write you through our botnet, also I do not live in your country. You cant find my ip in a header of this message.
For some questions just reply.