There is a terrifying new bitcoin phishing scam which is circulating, leaving countless members of the cryptocurrency community fearful for the privacy of their most intimate personal information. Namely, their porn records. Scams are commonly referred to as “sextortion scams.” Phishing scams are nothing new. But this new hacking tactic is so manipulative that it is, unfortunately, working. Individuals have been receiving the below message. Which is threatening to release incriminating footage of both the individual and their screen (while viewing adult video content) simultaneously. The email requests $1200 in bitcoin to be paid out in one day’s time.
Sextortion at its Finest
This email is particularly threatening for a number of reasons. The fact that it plainly states that the sender knows your password, that it threatens to release your pornographic history. Which this would make even the tamest porn-watchers stomach turn and the obvious financial implications. To instill further anxiety, the email contains pseudo-personalizations such as “You’ve got good taste, lol.” This is truly sextortion at it’s finest.
In the email, the sextortion scammers claim to have installed a double-sided video hacking software on your computer. This software records the porn being played while also recording you watching said porn. This double-sided footage sounds like an utter nightmare. Therefore, coupled with the knowledge that the scammers have accessed your private password, this email may be difficult to ignore. Additionally, the requested amount of $1200 is not as unfathomable as some scams we’ve seen in the past. So individuals may be propelled to send the funds solely on the premise that the threat might be legitimate.
It’s unclear how much money this bitcoin phishing scam has made from threating to release pornography habits and reaction videos to friends, family, and colleagues. Though, we hope with the sharing of information no one else will be affected. Keep reading to find out more about how to protect yourself from scams such as this.
Practice Safe Email
If you receive unsettling emails such as the one above, simply changing your passwords is often the safest option. In the case of the aforementioned scam, the scammers did not install anything on anyone’s computers, nor do they have anyone’s search history or contact lists. Though, what they do have is a password created by the email recipient which was obtained from a leaked database somewhere online. If you’re like 81% of internet users who admitted to using the same password for more than one account, this means you are especially vulnerable to scams or worse, real hacking efforts. Practice safe email by using different passwords for various accounts, changing passwords routinely, steering clear of suspicious emails, and asking IT professionals for assistance when needed.
Sextortion, Bitcoin, and the Blockchain
When you send bitcoin, it’s not like going to a bank and providing all of the recipient’s contact information. Though, it is relatively similar to sending money through online banking. To send or receive any cryptocurrency, you need a digital wallet. You can pick from the best digital wallets, and decide either a cold or hot wallet. Once you have a wallet, you can buy bitcoin on a trading platform, accept it from someone else, or mine it yourself. When looking to send or receive the money, you’ll need a key. This key is a unique string of letters and numbers which is far more secure than a simple password.
In the scammer’s email, they provide the case-sensitive BTC address. Which they would like you to use when transferring their funds. In the case of unethical transactions such as scams using the blockchain, it seems illogical for a scammer to receive funds on a platform where everything is recorded transparently. Though the scammer is likely aware that the individual being scammed will not want to details of the transaction to be displayed. Therefore it is likely that little information will be provided by either party. The transaction will simply exist as a one-time financial exchange between two parties. As to not generate any suspicion, it can be assumed that a scammer of this sort would set up a number of wallets in order to disperse the incoming payments.
Am I Safe on the Blockchain?
The blockchain, bitcoin, and cryptocurrency are incredibly safe, and scams such as these should not make you think otherwise. Nothing can be fully protected from malicious intent or dishonesty. Therefore the transferring of funds using the blockchain is not a fault of the blockchain. But rather, an unfortunate use of its function. With this said, if one must be scammed, it might as well happen on the blockchain because, as we said, it is entirely trackable and infinite. Therefore, malicious attempts can be easily tracked once they are uncovered. Cryptocurrency is no different than any other currency in the way that you must be smart and be careful. Look out for yourselves! Don’t let those search histories scare you into doing anything radical.