There is a new version of the sextortion scam we talked about just recently. It is known as the 'I'm a programmer who cracked your email account' Scam, and it is almost identical to the 'Hacker who cracked your email and device' Scam. Both of these are delivered with the help of a misleading message via email, and both of them are constructed as money extortion tools. Unfortunately, there is no doubt that schemers are getting exactly what they want. The previous scam we discussed helped schemers generate a profit of at least 5.1 Bitcoin, which, shockingly, is over 18,000 USD. The scam we are discussing now has accumulated 1.33 Bitcoin to this day, and that is nearly 5,000 USD. Clearly, schemers are having a field day with this.
It is hard to say who invented the sextortion scam and which version of the scam came first. Now, everyone with pretty basic knowledge can terrorize gullible victims using the same tactics. The 'I'm a programmer who cracked your email account' Scam is delivered using an email with the subject line that reads: “[email address] is compromised.” The “[email address]” part, of course, is adjusted to fit the victim who is being targeted. If you receive anything like it, remove the email immediately. The message following this subject line informs that the device using which the email was opened was infected 6 months ago when the victim’s password was shared via an unreliable website. To make the victim panic, the message informs that the password is hijacked and can be retrieved even when it is changed. This is a lie, and you should not be afraid to change compromised passwords as soon as possible. Of course, this particular scam DOES NOT involve an authentic password, and so it is unlikely that any of your passwords are at risk anyway.
According to the 'I'm a programmer who cracked your email account' Scam message, the contacts of your “friends, colleagues, relatives” and a complete browsing history have been recorded. Also, malicious RAT malware was installed to spy. Basically, what the attacker wants you to believe is that they have a recording of you that is linked to porn websites and that you need to pay a ransom of $819 to ensure that this content is not leaked to your contacts. Remember: This is a scam! There are no recordings, schemers do not have your contacts (or your passwords), and RAT malware is not active on your operating system. If you transfer the money to 17XHRucfd4kx3W5ty7ySLGiKHqmPUUdpus – which is an address to a Bitcoin Wallet – you will never see that money again, and nothing will change.
Of course, whenever you receive a message or notification indicating that malware exists on your PC, you should not ignore it. You should NOT use unfamiliar software and tools for malware detection either. Instead, you should install trustworthy and legitimate software to help you inspect your operating system thoroughly. If nothing is found, you can relax. If malware is found, you want to delete it as quickly as possible. Luckily, you do not need to delete threats on your own anymore, as there are plenty of tools that can do it for you, automatically. Of course, anti-malware software will not be able to protect you against scams that you might encounter in the future, which is why you need to practice safe browsing yourself.
While the 'I'm a programmer who cracked your email account' Scam does not use passwords to push victims into a corner, if you ever receive an email from schemers with your real password attached to it, make sure you remove the message and then change the vulnerable password ASAP on all accounts that it is used on. This is crucial for your safety! You also want to be cautious about spam email attachments that could represent malware, or links that could route to phishing scams. If you remain cautious and secure your operating system using anti-malware software, your chances of facing malware and real threats will be minimized greatly. And if you are not convinced that you do not need to remove 'I'm a programmer who cracked your email account' Scam-related malware yet, just scan your operating system using a reliable malware scanner.