Have you gotten an email like this below? Where some crazy person says that they’ve installed malware on your computer, hijacked your webcam and recorded you looking at pornography? This email is a frightening example of extortion, where the sender is claiming that they have proof of you doing something embarrassing, and says that you have to pay them $1,000 in Bitcoin otherwise they’ll share this supposed compromising video with everyone in your address book.
Really creepy stuff. Good news: it’s fake. Here’s the actual text of the email.
Subject: This account has been hacked! Change your password right now!
Hello Ron Stauffer,
You may not know me and you are probably wondering why you are getting this e mail, right?
I’m a hacker who cracked your devices a few months ago.
I sent you an email from YOUR hacked account.
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 Control) having a keylogger which gave me accessibility to your screen and web cam.
after that, my software program obtained all of your contacts and files.
You entered a passwords on the websites you visited, and I intercepted it.
Of course you can will change it, or already changed it.
But it doesn’t matter, my malware updated it every time.
What did I do?
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.
Do not try to find and destroy my virus! (All your data is already uploaded to a remote server)
– Do not try to contact with me
– Various security services will not help you; formatting a disk or destroying a device will not help either, since your data is already on a remote server.
I guarantee you that I will not disturb you again after payment, as you are not my single victim. This is a hacker code of honor.
Don’t be mad at me, everyone has their own work.
exactly what should you do?
Well, in my opinion, $1000 (USD) 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).
My Bitcoin wallet Address:
(It is cAsE sensitive, so copy and paste it)
You have 48 hour in order to make the payment. (I’ve a facebook pixel in this mail, and at this moment I know that you have read through this email message).
To track the reading of a message and the actions in it, I use the facebook pixel.
Thanks to them. (Everything that is used for the authorities can help us.)
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.
Filing a complaint somewhere does not make sense because this email cannot be tracked like my bitcoin address. I do not make any mistakes. If I find that you have shared this message with someone else, the video will be immediately distributed. Bye!
While I do recommend you change your passwords often, and don’t click on links you don’t recognize, whoever is sending this email is not telling you the truth. He or she (if such a person even exists) does not, in fact, have a compromising video of you, and is relying on your own sense of guilt to pay hush money in order to prevent your friends from finding out.
The good news is: you can safely ignore this email. Just delete it, and move on with your day. Ignore jerks like this in the future.
Note: if the sender of this email actually shares some or part of your password in the email, that looks and sounds scary. But it doesn’t mean they have access to your computer or webcam. What it does mean is that your username and password for some online login you have was compromised in the past and a hacker got a hold of a database of usernames and passwords. What you can do is this: visit https://haveibeenpwned.com, type in your email address, and it will show you which online accounts you have that have been compromised. If you find a bunch, maybe you’ll want to change your usernames and passwords.
But as far as the sender of this email having a video of you from your webcam? Naw… it’s bunk. You can ignore it.
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Ron Stauffer is a web guy and digital marketer with a passion for helping small businesses grow. He has spent over 13 years working in the digital marketing field, building websites, creating marketing strategies, and growing traffic and revenue for small businesses across the USA. His motto is “data wins arguments,” and he uses data visualization tools and charts and graphs to track everything and prove the value of his marketing efforts for clients. Connect with Ron on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or visit Lieder Digital online.