Business

Ed Drake

Latest BTC blackmail scam targets porn viewers

A new BTC blackmail scam is doing the rounds – this time, targeting porn viewers with demands for as much as $1900 in BTC.

The scam claims to work by covertly installing malware on a user’s computer, and begins by showing the user their hacked password. The message then goes on to claim the hacker holds compromising videos of the victim, and threatens to send the video to the user’s contacts unless payment is received within 24 hours.

The scam is an evolution of similar types of scams that have been circulating for years, with BTC payment a particular feature in making the scam attractive to would-be blackmailers.

BTC is more easily traced than cash, but can then be transferred with ease into more privacy-centric altcoins like monero and zcash, where it can be effectively laundered with little trace. As a result, scams like these revolving around the legacy BTC coin are becoming increasingly more common.

But while the email offers some details with certainty, such as the user’s correct password, it remains vague on other key details.

According to the message passed to CoinGeek, the hacker claims that proof is available – if the victim wants to verify whether the hacker is telling the truth, they can reply ‘Yes’ to the email, and wait for the fallout as the footage is sent to the first nine of their contacts.

Experts have suggested this is further evidence the scammers are fishing, rather than holding any specific data. User passwords for hacked accounts are easily accessible online, and it has been suggested that this could be the source of the password information used by the blackmailers.

This is similar in some respects to a snail mail cryptocurrency scam, which purports knowledge of an extramarital affair, with a supporting BTC address for the ransom. While the letters had some personal details, they were in fact shown to be a bluff, with scammers fishing a wide pool of recipients to find a single hit.

The scam message includes a BTC payment address, and tells users to ‘search Google’ if they are unaware of how to send a BTC transaction.

Expert advice remains not to pay, and not to negotiate with the scammers. The best strategy for anyone receiving this type of email is to ignore it completely – the only surefire way to avoid being drawn into the latest BTC extortion scam.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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