Don’t trust this sextortion email, it’s a bluff sent by scammers

An email has been sent to hundreds of thousands of French people by scammers, indicating that they are in possession of compromising videos. This message is only intended to trick the recipients in exchange for a sum of money.

A sextortion campaign is raging on French soil. Hundreds of thousands of emails – between 100,000 and 350,000 – were sent every day with the same blackmail message. The criminals explain to the recipients that they managed to hack their computer and thus the webcam and that they now have a video of the victim visiting a porn site. If the person concerned does not pay the amount of €1,450 in bitcoin on a cryptocurrency wallet within 48 hours, they will send the captured images to their relatives.

An example of an email
An example of a sextortion email from the campaign. // Source: Vade

We assure you, this email is a bluff. The campaign was spotted by cybersecurity firm Vade, which shared the email images with Numerama. This bluff has been spreading since July 19, 2022. Cyber ​​experts analyzed the fraudulent emails and concluded that the pseudo hackers did not infiltrate any computer. Scammers only try to trick their victim by panicking. In fact, it’s actually a botnet – a network of connected devices that gets infected and redirected to another target – responsible for sending generic emails.

Still, some would have fallen for it, as the bitcoin wallet mentioned in the email has already received 0.12324069 BTC, equivalent to €2,543.89 (about $2,598). Vade experts have found that this wallet has been reported for sextortion in the past.

crook purse
Scammer’s bitcoin wallet. // Source: Vade

Compromised university emails

Another peculiarity, the famous message was sent from an address at the University of Angers. This means that an email from the institution in question was compromised and is now on the dark web for the scammers to recover. This is nothing new, hundreds of addresses and their passwords from academic institutions are freely available on hacker forums. This bypasses the security filter of the email services, so the email ends up in the inbox and not as spam.

Our cyber solutions detected our customers’ scam by detecting the same header, identical wording and mention of a cryptocurrency wallet in thousands of emails. says Romain Basset, Head of Customer Service at Vade. Sextortion campaigns work a little bit per season, they appear from time to time. Two years ago, leaked data from dating site Ashley Madison fueled blackmail attempts. This time is different as the scammers try to bluff the victims “, he adds.

The emails were sent from an IP address based in South Africa, but there is no guarantee that the scammers are based in that country as it is easy to cover their tracks. If you receive this email, don’t panic, you can continue browsing the web, but nothing prevents you from hiding your webcam.

For further

Source: Ivan Radic

Kaddouri Ismail

I am Ismail from Morocco, I work as a blogger and online marketer. I am also the founder of the “Mofid” site, in which I constantly publish many important articles in the field of technology, taking advantage of more than 5 years of experience working in the field. I focus on publishing in a group of areas, the most important of which are programming, e-marketing, digital currencies and freelance work.

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