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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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June 05, 2020
Hi have received 4 of these emails now. The latest with my correct password stayed in the body of the email.
June 06, 2020
I received three of these in five or six days. I deleted them.
June 06, 2020
I received three of these emails. Deleted w no action.
Van Huffel
June 08, 2020
Got one yesterday, allready tought it was scam. Reading this gave me the answer i needed to be sure!
June 08, 2020
Whew! Glad I found this page! I just spent the last 1 1/2 hours researching the internet to determine if the bitcoin blackmail email I received, saying it had access to my account, could be legitimate as far as having access to my account. I wasn't worried about the alleged blackmail video because, even assuming they could access my webcam, all they would've seen was me working all live long day - ha! But I did worry about the alleged "access to my computer" all the same. Glad I finally found this FTC alert!
June 09, 2020

In reply to by ScaredyCat

I had the same exact experience. I just changed some financial and healthcare institution passwords and reported the email to the FTC and the fbi because I find the attempt to be thoroughly aggravating.
June 08, 2020
I was getting these in April. Filed a complaint on this site. Just got another one. This time when I move it to the spam folder, another appears in my inbox!!
June 09, 2020
I have been getting dozens of these emails every day for over a month.
June 09, 2020
Asked to send btc to this wallet: 1DnqEzkdk7J1R5vURQx9cuQkpqQbUd1VSC
June 09, 2020
I just got one yesterday from a New York number. It said "Hey" twice then I sent a picture back of me flipping him off, blocked the number and then deleted the message.
June 09, 2020
I got 3 of these at once in my spam folder. Oddly, I have had a surge of spam messages after recently ordering online from Home Depot. I would very much like to know who they are selling my info to.
June 09, 2020
I received a similar blackmail scam email today with a password I used over 10 years ago. I don't even remember what account I used it for and I haven't used it for anything since.
Be safe
June 09, 2020
There have been several very large data breaches in the past few years and I know for a fact I’ve been part of one or two of them. I’ve received 3 of these emails in the past month or so. From what I read it’s a scam. Just change ALL your passwords and you should be ok.
James B
June 11, 2020

In reply to by Be safe

Wen changing your password(s) using multiple sites, be careful. Try to figure out what site(s) the password came from. If you change all of your passwords the scammer may have access to the breached sites AND now knows the passwords to all of your sites. Here's an idea: For sites containing valuable personal information (banking sites, sites that use ANY part of a social security number, credit card sites, etc) use strong passwords with at least TWO special characters in the password. Also use different passwords for each site. Yes, it's a pain remembering different passwords, but you will be happy if you are ever hacked or is someone does get your passwords.
June 10, 2020
I received the same email today. Wanted me to send $1900 in bitcoin or the will share the video with my contacts.
June 10, 2020
I just received one of these today. I received one a couple of years ago using the same password (old yahoo password, I think). I changed it back then. The scammers must be using an old database.
June 10, 2020
I just received one of these emails and it used a password I've never even used before.
June 10, 2020
I recieved one of these emails today. They had a password that was used on an account back in 2008. I have 24 hours to pay $1900 to bitcoin. Thanks to this article, I will not be paying anything. But I will be updating my passwords and changing my spam filter.
MO3Don't use y…
June 29, 2020
Received 2 emails now threatening I have been being watched on my webcam and that they know my passord and will send pics out to all contacts if I do not send bitcoin.It says Recorded You and has this as senders email Master84@
June 11, 2020
I always laugh because I don't have a webcam!
CT citizen
June 11, 2020
I got one 2 days ago. It was lengthy and graphic and gave 24 hours to pay 2000 bitcoins. Judging from the (old) password used in the subject field, they got my email from a data breach at a company for which I free-lanced a few years ago. The idea of them disseminating cooking and quilting videos to my contacts gave me a good laugh.
June 11, 2020
I just received one - had 24 rs to pay 3K in bitcoin or would post post sex videos etc. had a password...Disturbing to say the least. I am filing a report to the FTC now.
June 11, 2020
Just got this today they want $3,000 except the password they said they had is a 15 number Password which I would never have used who could remember that
June 11, 2020
Has anyone here ever actually had these threats turn into reality? Do these scammers ever carry thru with their threats and make these videos public?
June 12, 2020
I got a email like this beginning week it said to send 3,000 and it had that bitcoin symbol if I didn't send it said they would expose webcam pics. Oh really don't have any I deleted the email how can I block these scam emails.
July 30, 2020

In reply to by Laura60

You can't really block them because they use a different spoofed email address each time. Even if you block one address, the next one would just come in from another address.
Tony King in E…
June 12, 2020
I've been getting these randomly for a couple of years, and of course ignore them. They usually appear in my spam folder anyhow. But the last week or two, the amount of spam with this message has increased alarmingly! Almost to the point that one might say its a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). The last week I have received HUNDREDS of these messages in my spam folder. The contents are identical, but each sender usually has a fake email name differing by a couple of digits. Obviously generated by some spambot. It is perhaps a virus that is being spread around, with a target address such as mine.
June 13, 2020
I got this I Recorded You email that included my old password four times yesterday. The return address is Mastr Zlux with number that change with every email. Fortunately, it went to my alternate email that I rarely use, and I have since changed the password on the email account.
June 13, 2020
I recieved an email yesterday 6/12/20
June 13, 2020
I received a similar email. Something of bitcoins and that they supposedly generated a backup of my files and stuff like that. They demanded $500 to keep this so called secret, whatever that may be. Unfortunately, for them I’m no fool.
June 15, 2020
I randomly checked my spam emails and saw a message from eleven days ago with the subject, "I RECORDED YOU!" and the body of the message starting with, "Hey, I know one of your password is: ********* I'm a hacker and program..." and I can't see the rest since I didn't click on it. I'm guessing, after reading all of these similar experiences, that they threatened to expose a video of me looking up adult websites or something? Since I know that's not true, I'm not worried. I am curious, however, as to which website they got that password from, even though it's one that I specifically use for website accounts that I know aren't important/don't contain important information - so joke is on them :)
June 15, 2020
I got another porno scam recently. The last data breach, according to my security app says was in 2012 from This scam email asks for 3K in bitcoin and gives a wallet QR Code. The email text is not the same font from beginning to end but the English isn't particularly that poor. Hope you can catch them.
June 21, 2020
How do they send me emails FROM my own email address?! Anyone else have this problem with only an old att or sbc global account?
June 22, 2020
I got one also. scared me until I found this. I deleted the email cause I didn’t want that in my emails. But I reported the address before I did.
June 22, 2020
Hi everyone, I keep on getting these emails too. I have reported 2 to the FTC and I am still getting these. I also reported them to spoof at Microsoft as they were coming from Outlook. The emails stopped for a while, but now they are back again. I am thinking of closing down that email account and going to another account as these emails are very disturbing. The latest did not say Outlook so I think they are coming from somewhere else now. They keep on giving different names all the time. Then I looked up the names and they are nowhere to be found online. Also they always come at the beginning of the week and the end of the week. I am going to keep reporting them and hope someone prosecutes these frauds.
June 22, 2020
I've gotten three of these emails in the last month. Each came to the email address and specified the password I used with a Shell credit card account issued by Citi over 10 years ago. There were a number of big credit card data breaches at Citi in about 2010. I cancelled the card at about that time. The important thing is to use a different password for each of your accounts.
June 23, 2020
Yes, I have received two of these, as well! What I want to know this day and age with the quantum leap in technical/cyber abilities, why can't these slimeballs be "backtracked" within moments by the authorities???
June 23, 2020
Have been looking for work and of course getting a lot of spam and scam e-mails. The latest one asks if I want to work as an "Administrative Assistant with USA Crypto Security", to receive funds remittance from partners and process them. Stating that they want someone to purchase bitcoin online as working through regular banking services is very costly and painstaking for them. This appears to be a modification of the receiving and shipping packages scam that has been going on for some time. In this case they let you know that you'll only work 7-15 hours a week and that you'll be paid monthly. Of course, a month later you'll have a very difficult time catching up to them and who knows what legal trouble they'll have gotten you into as well. Be safe and be smart.
June 23, 2020
I received two of these from different people, one for 2000 Bitcoin the other for 5000 Bitcoin. They sent it to an email address I rarely use but I had been wondering why someone keeps trying to reset my Facebook password as I've changed it from that password long ago and I have Facebook set to ignore those and for two factor sign in. Guess they got mad and have been trying to log into my Facebook to start stuff.. jokes on them
June 27, 2020
I think something that would be helpful to everyone here is the site or account (obviously not YOUR account info..) people find the old password was linked to. Could help others locating that decade old account they forgot about.
June 29, 2020
I'm getting the same nonsense too and thankfully it's an old password from a very old router from a long time ago. The last two days I got this from this email Butterfly@ and this email Butterfly@ and I know it's the same person coming from Kazakhstan. I had to Google the ip address which is in the email. I hope that this person is caught and arrested. Also do the following, unplug your router every other day which would reset everything to avoid nonsense like this, delete it or report it. Change your password if necessary and run a malware program on your computer as well as your anti virus just in case. Otherwise, this person who's pulling this is another loser who doesn't know anything and is desperate for money. So fight them.
June 29, 2020
It happened to me this morning...29th June 2020. Those guys dont rest, I was not even concerned or threatened, just junked the mail. Be careful Guys, dont pay no money to no one.
Don't fall for…
June 30, 2020
Until I see headlines in the news of people losing their livelihoods due to have all their personal web activity and videos and screenshots being sent to their employers and loved ones because they didn't pay out bitcoin randsom, I think you can all safely laugh this one off. But do make sure that if the password they post in subject line is one you actually still use, change it to a 10 character password on any sites where you use it. Other than that...BLOCK/then DELETE, and go on with your life.
June 30, 2020
My 83 year old mom just got one of these emails. It scared her half to death. Changed her password and submitted a report. Hoping this stops the emails.
July 01, 2020
I checked an email I don't use much anymore and got this bitcoin scam email on May 24th. It had my old password in the subject line. Demanding 2000 bitcoins or they will expose me. Shame I didn't check this site before to report it. I just blocked and spam reported it. It was from Ron(can't remember the rest).
July 01, 2020
I received this email today. Overview: I installed a malware on the adult vids (sex sites) site, and there's more, you visited this site to have fun (you know what I mean). Once you were there on the website, my malware took control of your browser. It started operating as a keylogger and remote desktop protocol which gave me access to your webcam. Immediately after that, my software collected your complete contacts from your Messenger, FB, and email. I created a double-screen video. First part shows the video you were watching (you have a good taste lol . . .), and the second part displays the recording of your webcam. Precisely what should you do? Well, I believe, $1900 is a fair price for our little secret. You will make the payment through Bitcoin (if you don't know this, search BTC Address: bc1qdcnd^^jd7fjnccy2v08hr^^25huzwj223^^67yta3dxj (It is cAsE sensitive, so copy and paste it and remove ^^ from it) Note: You have one day to make the payment. (I've a specific pixel within this message, and now I know that you have read through this email). If I do not receive the payment, I will send your video recording to all of your contacts, including your relatives, and colleagues. However, if I do get paid, the video will be destroyed immediately. If you need evidence, reply with This is a non-negotiable offer. Please don't waste my personal time and yours by replying to this email. Ches
July 01, 2020
I got one the other day and it had the password I currently use, but since I am a teenager, I knew it was a scam. I have no bitcoin and I researched it right away. I don't trust anything in my spam folder. I just don't know how they got my password. Time to change it.
July 02, 2020
I received 2 such emails, one on June11, 2020 and then again on June 21. Both were from different senders. One wanted $2000 Bit coin and the other $3000. I did not read either email entirely before I deleted them, but one did say it installed a key logger on my PC from an adult site and it had a pixel tracker in the email. Not sure what that is? From reading this site I feel a little better.
Rich K
July 06, 2020
I received 7 phone calls from the same robocall with different numbers. I filed a complaint to stop these calls, they continue to call.