Skip to main content

Porn Site Blackmail Scam - That Time a Scammer Contacted Me and What I Did

Have you received an email with a subject line or content that contains an actual password you use either currently or at some point in time (likely it's one you've been using for a few years)?

The email claims that the sender has footage from your webcam of you visiting a porn site for some 'fun' and threatens to release that footage to all your contacts unless you pay a specified amount to a supplied Bitcoin account.

It also mentions your password was obtained by installing malware on a porn streaming site that basically gave the sender access to your keystrokes, desktop, and webcam.

I've received such an email twice now. I've posted the second below. The first email requested a deposit of US$7000 to said Bitcoin account. This time that number has gone down to $1000 (Rude! are they saying I can't afford $7000? Spoiler, I can't but, rude!).

The actual email I received. Password changed just in case
I'm still using it on some site I've forgotten about.

Unfortunately I was kicking myself for deleting that first email because, shortly after, I realized it was a great opportunity for an article just like this.

If you've received an email like this, all you need do is retire that password for anywhere you're still using it (just to be safe) and delete the email.

The only part of the email that is actually true is the password is probably one you used or are still using after many years. The sender simply has obtained a list of login details from sites that at some point were hacked and had their account details published to the internet. This scammer is playing a numbers game. They're hoping enough people from their list will fall for the scam to make it worth while.

Want to know if a password associated with your email address has been published online? You can check at have I been pwned?

Internet Security 101

Big companies spend a lot of money on internet security and are hacked and compromised all the time (Sony is one example that springs to mind). The $99.00 you probably spent on Internet security software isn't going to protect you if someone really wants access to your data, desktop, webcam etc.

Just like the scammers, personal Internet security is a bit of a numbers game. The odds of someone hacking you specifically are pretty low if you're just an average Joe or Jane Schmo. Anyone targeting you personally is likely someone who knows you or you have some kind of relationship with.

Protecting your computers from hacking is still important (for the very reason I mentioned in the previous paragraph). That security software you have will probably work in the majority of hack attempts, but if someone really knows what they're doing, there isn't much you can do to stop them (but that's no reason to make it easy for them either).

Spotting Internet Scams 101

The first email I received in this Porn Site Blackmail Scam I deleted within five minutes of reading it. The only reason I kept thinking about it was because I hadn't received that specific scam email before, and, as I mentioned earlier, I realized it was a great starting point for an article like this.

As far as I'm aware not a single one of my contacts has received any video of me watching porn online. If you ever get an email like this, requesting money, saying you've won a ridiculous sum of money, or you've been chosen to receive an inheritance (to name just a few possible scenarios), do a Google search. For this particular email I searched Porn Site Blackmail Scam and learnt a new word, Sextortion.

Krebs on Security came up first in my search and the resulting article outlined the details of the exact email I received. It's not the only site with information, there were plenty of them - which is a good sign, in the sense you can be confident something is definitely a scam.

Always do a search first to see if anyone else has received a similar email. Given most scams are a numbers game, you're probably going to find plenty of fellow recipients.

Use Common Sense

Any hacker who has remote access to your computer, and is able to install a keylogger to capture account login details, isn't going to waste time blackmailing money from you. They could probably cut you out altogether, login to your online banking themselves, and make that money transfer long before you even noticed the money was gone.

The main take away from this article is to not take these scam emails at face value. Question their validity with a simple Google search.

Once you've established it's probably a scam, assess whether you need to take any precautions such as updating passwords, then delete the scam email and get on with your life.

You may be tempted to send a reply but this really isn't a good idea. It may focus the scammer's attention on you, and they may actually target you more specifically, since they now know your email address is active and not an old account you never check etc.

Digital Assistant or Listening
Device for Scammers?
Finally, remind yourself that we live in the future where people are installing live, internet connected listening devices in their homes, with newer devices also supporting video cameras and video screens. These devices are called 'digital assistants' and they can be used to collect sensitive information about you... so... maybe don't have one in the bedroom whilst you're engaging in a bit of 'couple time'. (If that's concerning try reading this article from Norton: Can Smart Speakers be Hacked? 11 Tips to Help Stay Secure).

Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET
20% off holiday gifts yule (and they’ll) love. Use code ROAR

Popular posts from this blog

'Nothing' on a Grand Scale...

As an artist I would like to leave the world with the legacy of my greatest exhibition of conceptual artwork (or lack of it as this article will reveal). My vision is on such a grand scale that only one of the world's great art museums could house it.

In essence I would like to empty all the art from the walls and rooms of one of the great art museums. I would then like to hang my exhibition entitled 'Unstarted'.

Every room in every gallery will be filled with artworks that I have spent no time at all creating. Not so much as a single empty canvas, just a museum filled with nothing. Unstarted.

Naturally each individual artwork not appearing in the exhibition would be 'Untitled'.

I imagine the souvenier catalogue of artworks to be filled with blank pages. Unprinted.

What a bold statement. Shifting aside all that important art for nothing (literally). Minimalism to the extreme. An artist who has got so good at creating less and less he's finally worked out how to make…

Robot Uprising: Patrolling Your Home, Garden and Now The Streets!

Many people think of the inevitable Robot Uprising as a humanoid, Terminator like, robot army, wielding laser guns, hunting us down in some kind of distant future, human Armageddon. What they don't realize is that the robot armies are already taking shape, albeit in a much more passive aggressive form.

I've previously documented the Roomba as the first wave of mass produced robots surveilling your home under the guise of being a floor vacuum.

These irritating devices are supposed to quietly work away in the background while you perform Yoga poses in peaceful bliss but are actually noisy enough to attract your attention and... why does the thing keep missing that one spot in the middle of the floor but has cleaned the same corner four times already!

The Thirteenth Doctor - Doctor Who TV Series Thoughts

I'm, what I would describe as, a casual Doctor Who fan (the long running BBC TV series if you've somehow never heard of the character or show). I grew up with the show in the 1970s and 80's but kind of dropped away when sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, took over the role - and definitely tuned out for Sylvester McCoy's turn).

Colin was too much of a contrast to Peter Davison's fifth Doctor. I remember struggling to get used to his version of the character. Sylvester's Doctor was even harder to connect with, though looking at clips of him as the Doctor now, I can see his influence on several of the Doctors that came after him.

When the show was rebooted in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston's ninth Doctor I was back in for his entire one season run. It was kind of a shame Chris didn't stick around for long because I really liked his Doctor. As I heard Colin Baker say in some Doctor Who Reunion show at one point, Chris' Doctor was the 'cool' Doctor th…

getpaidtodraw.com - Your Questions Answered.

Is it a scam? Is the sales message too good to be true? Can you really sit back, relax and get paid thousands of dollars in residual payments?

If you've discovered the site getpaidtodraw.com and have been looking for someone who has bought this product before taking that leap then this review will peel back the glossy sales message and give you the answers. Prior to buying this product I came across much distrust and misinformation about getpaidtodraw.com by people who hadn't purchased it. There was a real need for information so I decided to take the leap and make the purchase specifically so I could write this informed review. Note that I am not, in any way, a getpaidtodraw.com affiliate.

For this review I will be focusing on the getpaidtodraw system which includes; the ebook, instructional videos and database along with access to the systems author Jules Camber (who replies to emails as 'Jamie, President of Champ Entertainment, Inc and Beats365, LLC'). I'll touch …

Creating a Mobile Independent Artist Business - Part 10: Opportunities to make money (Part A)

In my last post I looked at What to Create and Finding Your Market. This post is something of a natural follow on from finding your market as many of these money making opportunities include their own market places that you can research to see what kinds of themes and subjects sell best.

It's worth doing this research to find out if the art you're already creating is a good fit for that market place - which is ideal - or if you may have to consider expanding your interests to cover popular themes in order sell in a particular market.

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) *Spoiler Free*

Ten years in the making and Marvel finally releases part one of the Avengers versus Thanos, A.K.A. Avengers: Infinity War.

After seeing all 18 films in the MCU prior to this, and liking most of them, I was pretty confident this movie would not disappoint.

Other than a few minor issues - that are all my personal taste and in no way reflect on the quality of the film - it really delivers. Thanos is indeed the big, bad villain of the MCU that we've been antcipating.

Bukirk Glamping - Camping in Style, Clare Valley, South Australia

Glamping is for those who want to experience the outdoor lifestyle of camping without foregoing the luxuries of basic motel accommodation.

Bukirk (pronounced 'Buh -kirk') Glamping, located on a rural property, in the Clare Valley, just outside of Clare, South Australia, is by far one of the best accommodation experiences my partner and I have enjoyed to date. Although Bukirk's Facebook page says you could bring a family (I guess additional bedding can be arranged?), everything is more clearly targeted at couples, looking for a romantic getaway where the accommodation is a memorable part of the experience, and not just somewhere to stay.