According to new findings, sextortion scams have made around $500,000.00 worth of Bitcoin in the past couple of months in a trend that is seeing more and more people fall for fraudulent emails that claim to have video evidence of the victim ‘misbehaving’.
What is a Sextortion scam?
A sextortion scam exists as an email that suggests the victim has been videotaped watching porn or masturbating. The emails threaten the victim with sending the video to family and friends if they don’t pay a ransom (usually in Bitcoin) by a select deadline. These emails often contain a password that had been used by the victim previously, in order make the email seem more authentic. Generally though, these emails are scams and no such video recording exists, sadly though, it’s a scam that a lot of people seem to be falling for.
It’s an easy scam to implement and prys on real human emotion. Really, such videos would threaten to ruin a victim’s life if it got in the wrong hands, therefore it only seems sensible to pay the Bitcoin. What’s more, scammers are getting away with it too.
According to Motherboard, Cybersecurity Firm Banbreach, one such scam has made around $500,000.00 worth of Bitcoin through old password dumps. The CEO of Banbreach, Suman Kar has said:
“What is worrying is that, scammers were able to siphon off [$500,000], from old passwords dumps, with very little effort.”
Furthermore, according to Motherboard:
“Banbreach looked at around 770 wallets in total, according to a spreadsheet the company shared with Motherboard. The majority of those, around 540, did not receive any funds. But the remaining ~230 had over 1,000 transactions, receiving a total of around 70.8 BTC. This figure is also likely only a conservative estimate, considering Banbreach’s methodology would not have captured all, or perhaps even the majority, of sextortion emails. Kar said Banbreach collected different bitcoin addresses used in this style of extortion by scraping comments on related media coverage, and picking them out from journalists’ articles. Kar said the company also fielded reports from victims in India, where scammers appear to be targeting at the moment in particular.”
See the full story for yourself, here.
This is a part of a new wave of scams that is hitting inboxes all over the world. In order to avoid being caught out, don’t click and links in the emails and try not to open them when possible, simply just ignore them and delete them.