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Blackmail email scammers: just call their bluff

13 March 2018

Today, Fraud Help Desk has once again received several reports about blackmail emails. We warned about this type of scam at the end of last week.

The message alleges that explicit images have been taken in secret, showing the recipient masturbating. The perpetrator threatens to send these images to friends and relatives if recipients fail to pay € 500 in hush money within five days. The amount must be transferred to a Bitcoin wallet address.

At least one paying victim
Because Bitcoin transactions are public, you can see that money has been deposited on at least one wallet address. It’s difficult to get a full overview of all the people who fell for this trick. Different versions of this scam mail are doing the rounds, with different Bitcoin addresses. Fraud Help Desk has received no reports of people who actually paid up.

Here’s an example of the email (click to enlarge):

Blackmailer’s response
One recipient emailed the blackmailer asking for proof of the images before paying. He received a striking response:

“You’re not the one making the demands here, that’s me! Paying is your only option, so don’t waste any more of my time or I will increase the amount. Or shall I send the video to ten of your contacts? In that case, I’ll want 5000 euros, otherwise I will continue every hour, sending the video to the next 10 contact, and so on.”

It’s clear from this email response that the blackmailer doesn’t produce any evidence, but only responds with a heavier threat.

Our advice
If you have also received this email, or another one that you do not trust, please forward it to before deleting it from your inbox.