Firstly: DO NOT PANIC – DO NOT PAY
This is a scam, despite the email or whatever, you have not been personally targeted, the scammer does not know you, she is playing a numbers game. Relax, EVERYTHING is a lie, to be blunt, BULLSHIT. Despite the claim of xx days deadline, you have all the time in the world. It is the scammer who is under pressure.
As of 2022, this article is outdated. It has been updated and expanded. If you are the victim of any scam, we strongly urge you to read the update, it contains everything here with more detail and practical advice. If your situation is NOT covered, please contact us so we can continue to update. The aim is to panic you into paying – so relax, everything is fine.
PLEASE READ: “Email Bitcoin Extortion – a new game.” READ IT NOW.
Hello, good morning from Shunyi. A fine, sunny, spring day ahead. Now watch some so and so come along and mess it up. And sure enough it happened. A series of SPAM emails suggesting we might like to make a BITCOIN donation to prevent our intimate sexual details being broadcast globally. Likely as not this has happened to you, or will. It is a scam..
This particular piece on sextortion and scams deviates widely from our usual China business focus, inspired by a few questioning emails and friends who had been infected. Since we wrote this article, the situation has changed a few times and will likely continue to do so. We have rewritten this post as a short summary to reflect those changes which we briefly outline below.
This list can never be complete. As we come up with new tech, low life come up with ways to use it to cheat and steal. As we note below, they run on 3 basic human traits; greed, fear and sex. Let’s begin with the older, but still around scams.
Opportunity to make HUGE money (greed)
These came to be known as the Nigerian scam in dubious honour of their country of origin.
Damsel in distress (sex)
Usually from a female victim being held against her will or lonely, oft rich woman seeking a husband to help her “escape” an arranged marriage or such. A lesser known variant targeted females offering marriage to rich, handsome young men..
Bitcoin Scams – (fear)
Initially dubbed “Sextortion Scams,” circa 2017 these are the latest iterations and the main focus of our post. Although they have worked through at least 3 variants to date, the basic MO is still the same. Intimidation, blackmail, extortion via Bitcoin.
Summary of Bitcoin Extortion Scams
The first thing to understand is this is not real. Despite what the email says, you have not been targeted personally and the scammer does not know you from Adam. We have been targeted hundreds of times since 2017 or there-abouts, never paid and are alive to tell the tale. So take a deep breath, relax, it is not real. Don’t panic, Don’t pay.
In brief, this is nothing more than a gamble by the scammer. She knows that if she sends out enough emails, she will hit someone for whom it seems real and a % of those will be fooled or scared into paying. Think of her as a deep sea fishing boat, trawling the ocean, catching everything of which only a small % is edible.
We talked about intimidation. This is achieved by the use of “technical terminology.” Even if you’re not computer literate, you may recognise some terms from the news re hacks, etc or from Sci Fi movies. Most of what is mentioned in the email is rubbish but he knows you do not know that. In truth, the only real fact is he has spoofed your email- which us easy enough to do.
If you are coming to this after the fact and have already paid – our commiserations. Now at least you know better next time. And there will be a next time. The chances of getting your money back are very remote – thanks to Bitcoin. Which is of course, why they use it. However, one word of advice. if you’re dead set on getting your money back and are surfing the net, be careful. Some are also scams. Don’t be fooled again.
We present a fuller article and update here: Email Bitcoin Scams the new game as well as advice and guides to reporting to both the spammers ISP’s and the Bitcoin community which also alerts others to the scam.
Beating scams is a team effort. It involves all of us doing our bit to educate and encourage would be victims to use all the reporting tools available. To learn about computers and on line safety and security. Not just in the on line sphere by sharing articles, such as this, but by also getting out into your local community. The real world and those more vulnerable, in society, such as the aged.
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