Sextortion - I learned a new word today.
Well, maybe I did know the word already, but it came up today in a scam email that had me shaking in my computer chair, until I realized there was nothing to fear.
I received an email with a real password I use sometimes, demanding money from me saying there was video of me viewing a porn site. If I didn't pay $1000 they would send the video (of me) to 9 of my FB friends. Extortion.
Um... no, not me.. honestly, couldn't have been me. I'm one of the few people in America who does not view porn. AND I also have tape over my webcam so there could be no video of me (not) viewing porn either.
Luckily I learned from some online articles that this is indeed a new scam, using OLD passwords associated with e-mail addresses, and I have no need to worry. I've changed my password on the few old sites that I was still using that old password. Nothing important.
Apparently some sites were hacked a few years ago, Dropbox and Linked In, and others that I don’t use. Now those harvested email addresses and old passwords are being used in this new kind of scam.
Funny thing, they only asked me for $1000 in Bitcoin... Similar scams I see people reporting were being asked for $1900, $2900 or more... Guess I get a senior citizen discount, haha!
Though it's not silly, random or fun, it IS a reminder to change simple passwords you might still be using from years ago - and put tape on your webcam, when not using it!
Here are the articles that made me feel better after receiving this seemingly personal email - that wasn't.
Update Sept 11, 2018 I just received another email from same email address, this time the ransom went up to $5000, haha! This one was worded slightly differently. In any case, glad it's nothing to worry about.
I have a pink post-it note over my webcam so I can remove it for Skype calls and then put it back up easily.
I laugh when I get the "blackmail" emails....but, even if they did have a video of "me viewing porn" (which they can't possibly)...I wouldn't care. Money in my bank account means more than people's opinions about my viewing habits. LOL
I've gotten a couple of those threats over the last few months.
I ignore them.
I've had people I know try to blackmail me with things they think I'd be
too ashamed to have anyone else know about.
They're always so surprised when I tell them to "go ahead and do whatever
you think you need to".
I also always let them know that I have everything connected to their threats documented (whether I do or not, although I usually do). Then, I remind them that their time dealing with law enforcement is going to last WAY longer than any embarrassment they think that I may have to deal with.
I don't do "shame", I simply do not care what anyone else may think of me.
It's none of my business what others think of me anyway.
The ONLY way blackmail works is if you (general you) let your fear of being
"exposed", give anyone else control over you.
Anyone attempting to use extortion is banking on their target being weak and
If anyone is going to succumb to blackmail, I really have no sympathy for them.
They were too weak to stand up to it.
I saw that in a movie once. I didn't know it actually happened.
I use a memorized code to generate passwords that are unique to the site I'm on. I've done that for years. My passwords are super complex but I have no trouble remembering what they are.
I'm glad you didn't fall for it. There is a video of you viewing a porn site. Most likely three quarters of America has viewed a porn site. So what. I once had a similar thing come to me and the sender actually wanted to threaten me into providing details and told me what would happen if I did not do so. I ignored it and it finally stopped.
I have been getting phone messages saying I am in legal jeopardy and that if I don't talk to these people the local cops are going to arrest me. It's all a scam of course. There are a lot of losers out there who can't or prefer not to make an honest living and instead try to prey on others. Unfortunately they do find victims, but happily I have so far not been one of them. At least not so far. The best policy is not to respond to any email or phone message directly. Your bank, the IRS, the local police, the Nigerian Consulate, none of them will call or email you asking for information. Just file it under "Another bullet dodged." ?
I have an friend in Texas who is a evangelical Christian. Apparently her husband has a porn addiction, and thought being a part of an online "Christian" support group was the way to handle it without it embarrassing him. Well, this support group was a front for blackmailers and he was blackmailed with not only what he said, but with email/pics from a female he was sexting with.
I don't know how much money they got from them, but as of the beginning of the year they were contacting their friends to extort money from the friends (they contacted me; I told them they could not hurt me and to go fuck themselves). Unfortunately, these people are in the Philippines, so there is nothing the US can do.
I live by never telling anyone anything that you don't mind everyone knowing.
This is a common scam. I was hit at least 6 times by two different people (or maybe the same person using different spoofed email addresses, IDK). Yes, that initial email scared the shit out of me despite the "revelation" being completely untrue. The scam emails I received implied I was doing more than watching porn and they had installed keystroke logging software on my machine, yammer-yammer-yammer. I deleted them all. LOL!
Using a password manager, if you use it well, can help  reduce the chances of your passwords getting cracked, and  reduce your vulnerability when it does happen. "Using it well" includes  choosing a strong master password or passphrase for the manager,  letting it create strong passwords for you (long, gibberish, with mixed case, numbers, and maybe symbols), and  creating a unique password for every account.
Examples include LastPass - they store all the passwords securely for you in the cloud - and KeePass - where you store your own database file.