Don’t Fall for Scammer Scare Tactics
11-06-18

Scaring people into action -- this is the latest scam tactic we’ve seen. It’s unfortunate the amazing internet technology we’ve created to improve our quality of life is now being used against us in this vicious way. It’s an interesting era in which we live where technology is so helpful and also a bit scary. But don’t get caught up in the scare tactics; instead, get informed.

The latest scam is a “Bitcoin Blackmail” scam. It started this summer, spreading all across internet with some variations to its message. The image below is a sample message, which you may have seen in your inbox. The email will look like it came from you! Which gives off the appearance that someone hacked into your email account. And they will start the email with a paragraph that’s intended to scare you.



They will write something like ‘they know your secret’ because they hacked into your system with a virus (trojan). They’ll claim to have been watching you via the computer camera, catching all your computer data and activity, or reading all your emails. They demand that you pay a sum of several hundreds of dollars in bitcoins, and some even have a token (BTC wallet) number to complete the transaction.

We’ve even seen the translated version of similar scams in other languages. I can tell you the one I read in Japanese easily gave itself away. It’s clear an automated translator was used and the poor translation alone indicates it’s likely a scam.



If you get one of these messages, please do not panic! Read it again if you need to, contact your service provider or PSPinc, and send it to us for analysis. Save your email in a message format and attach it to an email for us rather than forwarding the email, so we don’t lose any of the content. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is not take any action until you know the source of the email.

If you do pay someone and realize later it was fraud, please contact the FBI right away. The FBI has an online form for you to file a complaint. It’s not mobile-friendly, so it’s easier to fill it out on your PC, but hopefully they'll update the form to a responsive design soon!


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