Email Scam - Computer and Email Hacked, Demanding Bitcoin

If you receive an email from someone that claims they have hacked your computer, know your password and/or have proof you have done 'bad things' online, then tries to blackmail you into paying them Bitcoins -- don't believe it. The scammer will often send you the email by faking your own email address as the FROM address, and try to tell you he hacked your email account to send the message. This is a scam. The scammer has not hacked into anything, and knows nothing about you. See an example of such an email at the bottom of this page.

There have been many websites over the years that have been hacked and thieves have stolen databases of email addresses and passwords from these hacked websites.  This is nothing new.  The scammer has simply found your email and one of your old passwords in one of these databases, and is trying to use it against you. 

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

  • Check if any of your common passwords are exposed by testing them here: https://haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords --  if any of your passwords are in there, immediately stop using those passwords, and update your password at any website that is still using one of these exposed passwords.
  • If you have any concerns about your email password for your email account hosted at QTH.com, you may change it via your cPanel control panel
  • Consider never using the same password twice. This way, if one website is hacked, the bad guys will not have access to any other of your accounts/sites.
  • Consider using a Password Manager to generate, store and manage all of your usernames and passwords (which makes it easier for you to use different passwords for every website).

Here is an example of such a scam email:

Bitcoin Scam Example Email

 

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