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The FTC uses the information it gets from people who report scams to keep close watch on trends, so we can alert you to changes. Here’s one: reports of Bitcoin blackmail scams have taken a big jump in the last few weeks. The emails say they hacked into your computer and recorded you visiting adult websites. They threaten to distribute the video to your friends and family within hours, unless you pay into their Bitcoin account. Stop. Don’t pay anything. Delete the message. It’s a scam.

Based on the timing of this spike, you may get one of these messages because your email was exposed in a recent data breach. The scammers may say they have access to your computer or webcam, or installed clever software to defeat you. That’s all talk. But they may really know one of your old – or recent – passwords, and they include it in the message to prove it. When you see that, you know it’s time to update your password on that account, and consider updating other passwords, too.

If you, or someone you know, get a message like this, please report it to the FTC at

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

August 03, 2021
I just got this email. It was frightening but this brings me a lot more peace.
August 04, 2021
I have received these threats in my junk mail many times including one with an old password. It stopped for awhile until I got one in my inbox today. I know they don't have a video or access to my computer, but they put my full name in the subject line. I assume they can get that information anywhere at this point. I take all security precautions but that doesn't seem to be enough anymore.
August 06, 2021
I just received the exact email. They are demanding about 1,200 usd in bitcoins.
August 16, 2021

In reply to by Corona

I got the email on 2 different accounts 3 mths apart,where I get a lot of spam.The password they mention I barely remember as it was only used once many years ago.I have deleted everything
August 11, 2021
Got this exact email two days ago and am glad that I wasn't the only who has gotten this.
August 14, 2021
I just got one of these emails but I deleted was in some weird don't. Said oat them 1 Bitcoin.
Mh 08
August 14, 2021
I received today this mail asking yo transfer money within 48 hours otherwise he will share info and videos for me with some of my friends
August 15, 2021
Echoing the same email. They put my name in the title so it's daunting at first. However as a curious mind that led to this page and solve my mystery. I think these crime should be reported and maybe we can back track those bitcoin receiving address to find out who's behind all these.
August 16, 2021
Yes got one on Aug 18th on my email it was so weird, thanks for explaining this scam!
August 16, 2021
I just got one today - are we 100% sure it’s a scam?
August 20, 2021
I got an email sent to me that was written exactly like the ones from everyone else's comments. I only saw it after 12 days, but seeing my old password got me really panicked. I got two emails in total, each separated by a month. This was the second. Looking through the email though I noticed there were some inconsistencies which led me to investigate this through google searching, and thankfully enough I managed to find this site. I still changed all my passwords of all my accounts linked to my email though, and if anyone else here receives one then I highly recommend you to do the same. Stay safe guys.
Cadillac 57
August 20, 2021
Just received an email today demanding I pay the scammer some Bitcoin. He said he had sexual content of me, and all the usual things they say. But what I am confused about is that this morning there was an unauthorized charge on my card as well. I reported the fraud to AMEX. They change my account and got me a new card. Either it’s a coincidence, or the scammers are really trying to trick people.
Marcus Lambert
August 21, 2021
This is part of a message I received today. Having got access to your device I have recorded a vid with your home passion. And now I’m going to publish it on the net and send it to the contacts from your email. 19UsJSSU2nPxy2PH446Kp6j1adC8T1STSA Bitcoin, very good price 0.044. When I get my money, nobody is going to see your domestic passion. I grant u thirty-six hours to address my requisitions, if you defy me, within seventy-two h I’ll circulate ur compromising info. It’s ur call, and do not try to get to me, I am gonna delete the present email address to ensure my security.
Taint that special
August 22, 2021
I got that today but since I have 6 different email accounts they used A very old one. I use other emails to login to sites so if a email comes in from aol and such I know it a scam because they are not using my current email
August 23, 2021
I received the ‘I have to share bad news with you’ email on Friday 20th. Had me worried at first, privacy seems to be a massive issue nowadays especially on the web and with modern technology. I have 5 days to pay 1 Bitcoin to a certain Bitcoin address. Sounds like a version of the email that a lot of people are getting. Had anyone else had this email recently?
August 24, 2021

In reply to by Leftrightleft

Same here :-), what's the email it came from? Also put down the Bitcoin wallet shared with you here, maybe the same scammer.
August 25, 2021

In reply to by Leftrightleft

yes I actually received same one today, starting with i have bad news and goes on saying i have hacked and have your info ect. And it is asking for one bitcoin and gave me five days. Since its a similar email im guessing its all a scam. Thank god i found this page.
August 25, 2021

In reply to by Leftrightleft

I, too, received the “Greetings! I have to share bad news with you” version. The email appears to have been sent by me as it had my email address on the from line. As I replied or expanded the contact info, I was able to see that the sender was not in fact me (the from email was actually quite long and a bunch of random letters) as he/she was claiming to have hacked my email. Additionally, there were no emails in my “sent” inbox. I apparently have to pay 1 Bitcoin (worth around $48,000 as of right now) within 48 hours. I received this last night, Aug. 24, near midnight. The scammer was kind enough to conclude with a “tip” to keep changing my passwords frequently.
August 26, 2021

In reply to by Leftrightleft

Yes, I have received this email multiple times. it’s 100% a scam so just delete it and do not reply.
August 28, 2021

In reply to by Leftrightleft

Yes I also received this exact email on august 24. Thankfully I found this page and realized it’s a scam.
August 23, 2021
I got a bicotin blackmail today in my spam messaging saying they have info to all my social media and cameras and knows what adulg videos i watch. Threating to send it to my friends and family if i don't pay 1650US to their bicotin wallet in 48hours. Everything the ftc explained i was sent with the computer software and such. I saw my email address show up but didn't notice any old or previous passwords but i guess it is time for a password update. It is very upsetting
August 24, 2021
I got it too. After perusing these comments and not seeing anybody reporting that compromising photos or videos went to their friends and loved ones I guess this is truly a scam. From what I know about compyooters the type of things these pitiful little weasels claim to have is impossible to gather from knowing an email address and password. If someone has hacked into your router then that is a different story. That person would be fairly easily caught. We all need to change our passwords often to avoid this kind of nonsense.
August 25, 2021
I just received a similar email threatening to expose and send the video to all contacts/media but there was no old password or password at all, just my email which is the email they sent it to. Told me i have 5 days since opening the email and not to contact police or tell anyone or else. It is very graphic like we know the videos you watch and ways you please yourself and is telling me to be careful for next times to not be in this situation. Also can they hack/record with the iphone camera? Is this also scam? anyone had any similar one or like this one?
Just D
August 25, 2021
Did the same as everyone else here.
August 27, 2021
I got the exactly same mail today. I felt anxious at first but after a moment of thinking to myself found this site and relaxed thanks
August 29, 2021
Got a similar email that they somehow made it look like came from myself and tried to extort me for bitcoin claiming they have video of me visiting an adult website. Super scary
August 30, 2021
Received a similar email today. Given 48hrs or threatened release of compromising video. Had alleged attachment but I didn’t open it for fear of activating a virus or malware installation.
Tony Blade
August 31, 2021
I received it in my spam mail. I ignored it. But what i have to say is the scammer is quite stupid. I hope they can read my comments too. If they really very smart, please proove that or just screen shot some video or browser activities in the email so people can really trust you. Writing such long story and just put in the email that can easily get from public and bla bla bla....but didn't show what they have in thier hand, what a low class spammer.
August 31, 2021
My mom got an email today similar to the original, from her old work email address. The “hacker” claimed she was on adult websites and had video footage of her. The wording of the email was very similar to that of the original one copied on this page. At first, I laughed it off but then became suspicious and thought that they might have access to her credit card information. So i did some digging and came across this page, which im grateful for because im so relieved. The email said that she must send $1450 in bitcoin and if we do send the amount in 48 hours, they will delete the video. Like i said, its an old email address, that has been disabled for 4 years now. She doesnt share the password with any of her other accounts, so she is safe. Also, she deleted the email and asked her IT guy if she should be worried. Funny thing is, the only thing she does with her phone besides taking photos of the cat and texting friends, is playing candy crush. So even if there IS a video of my mom existing, its just her playing candy crush with an extremely focused face.
August 31, 2021
They are still at it. Just got the same email without my password. It’s sickening that people spend their time on doing wickedness to others.
Easily freaked
August 31, 2021
I just got this email and I was panicking. I’m going to be honest I do go to adult websites but I haven’t been on one recently and when they said they have video proof of me I immediately put coloured tape on my front camera. I’m still a little shaken up by it but knowing that other people have experienced it to helps calm the anxiety. At the bottom it said something along the lines of “don’t let this happen again so I suggest you change your passwords frequently”, did anyone else get that?
Ugh boy
August 31, 2021
Just got this last week. It was very disturbing. Luckily my friend found this site so it put my mind at peace. I was ready to think my device was really hacked and thinking the worse.
September 02, 2021
Do other people get the emails saying it was sent by themselves? Wondering how that could be possible
September 02, 2021

In reply to by CB

Yes 2 days ago, I received an email with my email address as the sender, asking me to pay $1690.
Sam10000Don't …
September 03, 2021

In reply to by CB

Same thing happened to me, threatening email coming from my own address, and I cannot access my email anymore today.
September 07, 2021

In reply to by CB

Yes. I received one a month ago saying that he can access my account and it appeared like it was just me who sent the mail in my spam folder. I don't know how it happened.
VA Person
September 07, 2021

In reply to by CB

These days they are somehow showning what looks to be a legitimate email address but when you hover over the email address it will show you the actual address it is coming from. I've had emails that come in with familiar names and then when I look a bit more, it's a totally unknown address. I'm not sure how they pull of this cloaking deception, but it happens more often than you may think. So if any email looks suspicious, take you mouse and over over the top of the email address or right click on it and you should be able to see the actual address it is coming from (using Outlook when doing this). I hope this helps.
September 03, 2021
I just got one that uses my legal name (not in my email address) as the subject line and begins, "Your keenness is like drug addiction. It might even be said that u're ill." I agree with some other posters--even if you know that these things are nonsense, they're scary!
concerned user
September 13, 2021

In reply to by J

I also got one that had my name. Hard to ignore if they have your name even of it's a scam
September 06, 2021
Hi I just got the very same mail for 1042 USD and almost the same text, our company MS O365 all accounts got breached and I got a mail from that account which I don't use, thanks again I will wait for more mails to come.
VA Person
September 07, 2021
Hello, This one is still out there. I have gotten it twice already. While it read the same, I didn't see a password mentioned. But they still asked for bitcoin. 2 things - 1, I don't visit porn sites and 2, I don't have a webcam. So... They are certainly not legit. Erased it and moved on. But wanted to let folks know it was still actively going around.
September 08, 2021
I received an email like this, claiming to have gained access to all my laptops, phones, computers, etc (mind you I do not have a laptop or computer). He wanted $1610 and apparently was in my email and had sent the email to its self, which doesn't make sense since the email had come from someone named Thomas smith.
September 09, 2021
I have several domains and I get these emails all the time. There is nothing to it, no, they don't have your password(s), no, they don't have total control over your device and no, they don't have a video of you. Don't panic, don't pay, just spam it and forget about it. Sending email as anyone else is very simple and does not require any hacking, there is nothing preventing anyone from doing it. If you want to know the details how this spammer did it just look at the spam mail's email headers. Google what these headers mean and how you can trace the route the email took but know that some of these headers might be fake.
September 12, 2021

In reply to by Fozi

@Fozi, my husband got this email, and it included a current password. How did he know that?
Peach b
September 10, 2021
I just got the same email I saw on the comments even tho it’s like a year later is it still a scam?
September 14, 2021
I got one of these 30 mins ago in my spam(im at work) it's 09/13/2021 The password that was stated hasn't been used in a few years Asking for $2637 on bitcoin
September 15, 2021
i received it 2 days ago too !
September 16, 2021
I get one or two per months one message was so brazen they claimed to have my SSI number and access to my bank account unless I pay up in bitcoin.
September 17, 2021
I received the same email today and reported it to the cyber crime.
September 18, 2021
Got the same e-mail, same wording, the amount of money is different, the sender e-mail address and the blockchain address are different. I use the mentioned password a lot, so I gotta change the passwords where I need them and delete a lot of accounts elsewhere.