You been ‘virtually cheating’ on your partner lately, at least that’s what a message on WhatsApp is telling you.
It’s been crafted by scammers who are sending out these messages from a telephone number unknown to the recipient. Next, another, long message follows about intimate chats the victim is alleged to have had with another individual. These are presented as proof of the victim having been unfaithful to his partner. They are accompanied by a threat: the chats will be forwarded to the recipient’s partner unless they quickly pay € 75, using the Tikkie payment system.
To show that the blackmailer knows what’s going on, they send a screenshot of the victim’s Facebook profile. It is plausible that the blackmailer got hold of the victim’s telephone number and personal information from Facebook.
Here’s an example of such an exchange of messages on WhatsApp (in Dutch, click to enlarge):
Extortion seems to be the latest fad among cyber criminals. In March and April, Fraud Help Desk received thousands of reports about blackmail by email. Most reports were about messages claiming that the sender possessed video recordings of the recipient masturbating. This footage would be sent to the victim’s friends and relatives unless € 500 was paid in bitcoins.
Please ignore this type of message. Don’t respond to blackmailer’s demands. Don’t pay them anything either, because paying up is no guarantee that the scammer will leave you alone.