Adult Entertainment Blackmail Scam Extorts Almost $1 Million Worth of Bitcoin (BTC): Fortune Report
A new scam was reported to have acquired at least $1 million USD worth of Bitcoin (BTC) recently. The scam basically told people via emails that they were hacked and that the criminals had webcam videos of them watching porn (and possibly masturbating).
In order not to let the video go out in the world, the victims were told to pay some money to the scammers using Bitcoin. According to a recent report made by Fortune, the scam was very successful and it has made at least $950,000 USD worth of BTC. Most payments are around $600 USD, meaning that over a thousand people were fooled by the scam.
Robert Hackett, a security expert which was interviewed by Fortune, affirmed that the scam possibly started after some data was leaked. The data was used to make the emails become very targeted and specific, which is why they ended up being so effective against their victims.
Hackett affirmed that the best way to discover if your information has been leaked it to use a site called “Have I Been Pwned”, which is a searchable database that identifies whether your profile was a part of any kind of breach known by the site. While it does not work on 100% of the cases, it will give you a pretty good idea of whether your information was hacked or not.
According to the expert, the whole thing is a bluff and a scam, so people should not give their money to the criminals, despite how afraid they may be that they really have images on them. Succumbing to blackmail is never a good option and victims may continue to be targeted even as they already paid, so the right course of action is to report the blackmailing to the authorities instead.
It was also affirmed in the report that the scammers used the information to threat the victims physically or to destroy the data of their computers unless they paid. It is important in these times, however, to be completely aware that hacker is probably lying.