“Have you recently noticed that I have e-mailed you from your account” email is classified as a sextortion scam because it demands payment in exchange for not releasing a supposed video of the recipient watching pornography. As far as these scams go, it’s pretty generic. It follows the usual pattern of first alarming the user with false claims of a malware infection, scaring them into thinking there’s a private video of them, and then demanding money. Fortunately for users, there is no video, nor do they need to pay the demanded sum.
“Hello! I am a professional coder and I hacked your device’s OS when you visited adult website. I’ve been watching your activity for a couple of months,” is how this sextortion email begins. Such claims immediately catch some users’ attention, alarming them enough to read the full email. The scammer then further claims that they were able to install malware on users’ computers when they were visiting adult websites. This has supposedly allowed them to take full control of users’ devices.
The scammer then explains that they were able to turn on the camera and microphone so they could record users watching pornography. They have supposedly made a video showing the user on one side and the video they were watching on the other. The scammer uses demeaning words to humiliate the user and frighted them into believing the video is actually real. Regardless of whether consumers have actually viewed pornographic content or not, this kind of strategy might nevertheless have an impact on some users.
The scammer threatens to post the supposed video online and distribute it to all contacts if the victim declines to send $1,000 to the provided bitcoin wallet address. Fortunately, no significant transactions have been made to the wallet address provided in this specific sextortion scam.
If you ever receive this “Have you recently noticed that I have e-mailed you from your account” email scam in your inbox, you can just delete it. Pay no attention to the contents no matter how threatening they may seem. You certainly don’t need to pay the demanded $1,000. Sextortion emails are completely fake, there is no malware on your computer, nor is there a video of you watching pornography.
Hello! I am a professional coder and I hacked your device’s OS when you visited adult website. I’ve been watching your activity for a couple of months. If you don’t understand what I am talking about I can explain… My trojan malware lets me get access to my victim’s system. It is multiplatform software with hVNC that can be installed on phones, PC and even TV OS… It doesn’t have any AV’s detects because it is encrypted and can’t be detected becaause I update it’s signatures every 4 hour. I can turn on your camera, save your logs and do everything that I want and you won’t notice anything. Now I have all your contacts, sm data and all logs from chats for the latest 2 months but it is not very useful without something that can spoil your reputation… I recorded your masturbation and the video that you watched. It was disgusting. I can destroy your life by sending this stuff to everybody you know. If you want me to delete this stuff and avoid any problems you have to send $1000 to my bitcoin address: 1HmfXeeMnxvGrXgJMKkan7UToT2jdZUv1a If you don’t know how to buy bitcoins use Google, there are a lot of manuals about using, spending and buying this cryptocurrency. You have 50 hours from now to complete the payment. I have a notification that you are reading this message… TIME HAS GONE. Don’t try to respond because this email address is generated. Don’t try to complain because this and my bitcoin address can’t be tracked down. If I notice that you shared this message everybody will receive your data. Bye!
Scammers buy users’ email addresses and passwords
Sextortion email campaigns may be operated by different scammers but they all operate in the same way. If you have already received one sextortion scam email, you will probably continue to do so in the future because scammers purchase targets’ email addresses from hacker forums. So if your email address is already out there, you’ll receive plenty of malicious emails.
Email addresses are frequently exposed by services with poor security. For this reason, it’s not a good idea to sign up for things like mobile apps and random websites using your primary email address. An email address will start to surface in numerous data breaches once it has been exposed. You can check whether your email address has been leaked on haveibeenpwned. If it has been leaked, there isn’t much you can do, but at least you’ll know to be warier of unsolicited emails, especially ones that ask you to do something (e.g. click on a link or open an attachment).
It’s important to note that some sextortion scammers send emails with users’ passwords included as well. It’s quite effective in convincing users that malware is actually present on their computers. Because, in their minds, how else would the sender have their password? The answer to this is actually quite straightforward. Malicious actors get users’ passwords the same way they do email addresses.
The security of some services used by users is average at best. When security is lacking, users’ credentials are not properly protected. In the event that such services become victims of cyberattacks, passwords and other information may end up in the hands of cybercriminals. Once in the hands of malicious actors, the credentials are subsequently sold to other cybercriminals on hacker forums.
If you get a sextortion email that contains your password, you need to change your password immediately. You’re likely already aware of this but passwords must be difficult to guess and complex. Ideally, a password should be made up of a random combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. The password for each account also needs to be unique. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, you should utilize a password manager.
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