84 Year Old Bagel Loving Woman Foils a ‘Sextortionist’ Con of More than $1,400
An 84 year old woman living in the United States was subjected to sextortionists looking to make some Bitcoin from engaging with her after she had signed up to Panera in order to get a complimentary bagel for her birthday. Panera is more commonly known among Americans as a popular restaurant brand, more common for its food than its Bitcoin-related scams.
The woman, known as Arlene Kaganove had explained that he initially applied for a ‘MyPanera' reward card in order to qualify for a free ‘everything bagel' for her next birthday, as she explained during an interview with NBC 5.
Kaganove argued that she was always up for a capitalizing on a good deal or free gifts, but got more than she bargained for with this one:
“I am always signing up for whatever comes free on my birthday,” she said. “Never anticipated it would lead to extortion letters.”
These extortion letters were nowhere near what the 84 year old was expecting from a loyalty card, but this didn't stop her from seeing some of the comedy in the situation.
“They say they have been watching me watch porn,” Kaganove went on to explain. “Which I find… hilarious.”
Even though she was able to see the funny side of it, the fact remained that the unsuspecting Kaganove was subjected to several hostile and very threatening emails.
Within these same messages, the sender had allegedly obtained footage of Kaganove watching porn, demanding that she send over $1,400 worth of Bitcoin in order to have the footage returned.
“They told me I have very good taste in porn so I thought that was nice,” Kaganove laughed upon recollection.
The one positive out of the whole situation is the fact that Kaganove has demonstrated a very pleasant optimism and a great sense of humour throughout the entire thing.
She went on to explain that there was a serious hole in their entire range of allegations. If these scammers were, in fact, able to record her doing these kinds of things. It remains very unlikely that they would have actually seen “a little old lady cursing at the computer because it’s not doing what I want it to do.”
Before she went on to retire, the Chicago resident was a very learned individual. Kaganove having successfully obtained two masters degrees; one in Chemistry as well as another in Law. And unfortunately for the sextortionists, she absolutely did not take the bait.
Upon a brief piece of deductive reasoning, she discovered that she was being targeted after signing up for the Panera rewards program. This was further substantiated by the fact that they cited her username and password in email correspondence.
Having contacted Panera shortly after, the restaurant went on to confirm that its dedicated website was in fact hacked, with customer data unfortunately being leaked late back in 2018. This data included a range of customer names, along with their contact information, addresses as well as dates of birth.
Panera has since confirmed that less than 10,000 customers were affected by this hack.
“No MyPanera Rewards account passwords were exposed during the April 2018 incident,” Panera went on to say within an issued statement. “We also went over our forensic records from last year and confirmed that Arlene’s account was not accessed improperly.”
Kaganove is on a more protracted mission, however, expressing a personal desire that no one else falls victim to this kind of extortion:
“If they are sending six [letters] to me, they are sending a lot more to people… I am sure someone is sending them money.”