Dangerous 'Bitcoin sex' scam claims to have footage of you watching porn – don't fall for it

BRITS are being warned of a new scam email in which cyber crooks threaten to release intimate videos of victims unless they pay a £1,500 ransom.

The fraudulent message purports to come from hackers, who claim they've accessed your webcam and filmed you masturbating to pornography.

Victims are pressed to pay a ransom in Bitcoin or the scammer will send the alleged video to their friends and family.

Known as a "sextortion" scam, if you receive one of the emails, don't fret: They're fakes.

Scammers send thousands of the messages out to random email addresses in a bid to trick people into believing they've been caught red-handed.

Most recipients simply disregard the message, but some fall for it and send over cash – making it a potentially lucrative hoax.

It's an old trick, but one that has surfaced again in recent weeks, TheNextWeb reports.

Apparently, the new email claims a hacker has "placed malware on the porn website” you frequently visit.

The malware infected your computer, apparently allowing hackers to film you touching yourself.

Recipients are asked to hand over $1,900 (£1,539) in Bitcoin or the video will be sent to all of their Messenger, Facebook and email contacts.

What is sextortion?

Here's what you need to know…

  • Sextortion is a form of blackmail where criminals use fake identities to befriend victims online – using websites such as Facebook, Skype or Linkedin – before persuading them to perform sexual acts in front of their webcam
  • Gangs have been known to use "honey trap" actors to lure their victims in and record the images before threatening to share them with the victims' friends and family unless they accede to their demands for payment
  • Most appear to single out victims based on their "ability to pay" and because "they have something to lose" and ransom demands range from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds
  • The term "sextortion" was a term coined by the National Police Chiefs' Council, which has been investigating the growing crime
  • The NPCC said gangs were making millions from the scam, with thousands of victims too afraid to come forward
  • It also said that children were among those exploited for sums ranging from £50 to £800

The emails contain personal information, such as one of your frequently used passwords, in a bid to convince you they really do have your nudes.

However, this has simply been copied from one of many recent hacks on big websites, such as the recent Zoom breach which saw 500,000 people's emails and passwords nicked by cyber criminals.

People's credentials were then sold on the dark web for anyone to use as part of scam campaigns (or worse).

To avoid email extortion scams, experts advise you use the latest versions of software, particularly your web browser.

If you receive an extortion email, do not open the email or any attachments within, and do not respond. Do not send money to the attackers.

Mark the email as spam and, if you feel it is necessary, alert authorities about the email.

Sextortion scams were first spotted in 2018 and are on the rise, according to reports.

More than 50,000 people have reported receiving one this year according to Bitcoin Abuse, a website that tracks these kinds of scams.

In other news, sextortion scams that blackmail you using stolen webcam pics are on the rise, according to a recent report.

Another popular extortion hoax involves tricking a victim into thinking a bomb has been planted in their building.

You can read our full guide on sextortion, including how to stay safe online, here.

Have you ever been caught up in a nasty scam? Let us know in the comments!

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