Skip to main content
Buy TET Life art on Skateboards and more. etourist Skateboards Store.

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

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Jo's new Art Studio/Conservatory. Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog,  Creating My Oddessey . Y ou should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse. We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against -

Batman v Superman: Dawn of the Onesie #Sadbatman

Although we haven't seen it clearly for sure, film director Kevin Smith (who has seen a well lit, color photo of the suit), says Ben Affleck's Bat costume is pretty much identical to the Frank Miller, Dark Knight Returns suit. If that's true then Ben's world weary Batman will be going 'old school' and be wearing his underpants on the outside (as he should).

One Week on Light n' Easy #lightneasy

My partner, Enigma, and I recently decided to try Light n' Easy to replace all our daily meals in an effort to eat healthier (and not have to think at all about cooking evening meals). Enigma is about to embark on her third week of their full menu but I caved after one and opted just to get the dinners.

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Boom Crash Opera Born Classic But Not Again

Boom Crash Opera are an Australian Band that reached the peak of their popularity in the mid to late nineteen eighties. They are a band that I knew about at that time but was never really excited by until they released their ill fated double album Born and Born Again in 1995 (Album cover pictured). At the time of its release I was very much into emerging Australian musical acts and was also looking out for new sounds that were different and had kind of a futuristic/electronic sound. Artists that I was buying at the time included; Swoop , Nine Inch Nails and Pop Will Eat Its Self . As well as a really interesting release by David Bowie, the concept album, Outside . Born was a fairly radical departure for Boom Crash Opera (BCO). The first single, Gimme , was often compared to the sounds of Gary Glitter, particularly his single, Rock n Roll part 2 , because of the pounding drum loops. Watch the video below. My favorite single from the album is dissemble which probably went now

Course Review: YouTube for Bosses - Sunny Lenarduzzi. How to grow your YouTube Channel into a Business

YouTube for Bosses Free Mug...  or the most expensive mug  you'll ever buy? I've been subscribed to  Sunny Lenarduzzi's YouTube channel for a few years, learning a lot on how to grow a following on sites like YouTube and Instagram. If you have any interest in growing your own YouTube channel I'd highly recommend watching some of Sunny's videos on the subject.  Definitely explore her 2019 back catalogue for the most useful information. This year she's been on a bit of a 'being authentic' pivot that, personally, doesn't resonate all that much with me (but probably speaks volumes to anyone with similar experience). I'm not saying she shouldn't or isn't being authentic, it's just I didn't subscribe to hear stories about her life journey. To get back on track, Sunny runs a successful online business with her flagship course, YouTube for Bosses , a stand alone paid course that does act as something of a gateway to further paid (but opt

Movie Review: Justice League (2017) *Spoiler Free*

I'll say, right out of the gate, I enjoyed Justice League . Sure it has a fairly straight forward, let's get the team together and battle a world destroying common enemy, plot but, after the complexity of Batman v Superman , it was nice just to see my favorite heroes come together and fight as a team. I've seen a few reviews that claim you don't get enough backstory for the newer team members, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg, but honestly, knowing more about their history isn't essential.