A new kind of scam has accrued almost $1 million in bitcoin from frightened porn viewers, says a new report — and they’re staining the good names of Shakespeare and Austen to do it.
According to the report, from cybersecurity firm Area 1, this scam involves a threatening email, in which the victim is told videos or pictures of them watching pornography will be leaked to their contacts, along with whatever they were watching, unless they pay a ransom in Bitcoin.
That hits some soft spots, so I can see why it works — threatening to expose intimate images and porn preferences is a double whammy.
Needless to say, it’s fake — they don’t actually have such videos of the victim, but are hoping to scare them into paying up.
It’s not exactly new that scammers try to use language that will trigger fear — a quick look at the spam folder on my work email shows things like “Trying to Reach You,” and “Reply Urgent.” But in this case the sad part is that it works.
According to Area 1’s report, the scammers have earned $949,000 from this, as the blockchain record associated with their digital wallet shows.