How To Catch A Scam

Yesterday, when looking through the Spam folder of my Gmail account (I do this on occasion, just to be sure a valid e-mail didn’t slip into the filters), I noticed an old handle I once used (literally, just once), in the Sender column and then an old password I used in the Subject line.

Naturally, this piqued my curiosity, so I went into the e-mail to read the message.
This is what they wrote:

I might have ignored the e-mail completely if it weren’t for the fact that this was indeed a password I used before. I just couldn’t place where it was I used it.

I performed a search in Gmail using the password, hoping a ‘welcome’ e-mail would turn up in the results, with that password mentioned. It did. It was a ‘welcome’ message from Myspace with login details of an account I created on their site back in 2009.

I then Googled “Myspace hacked” to see if that was even a possibility and discovered it was. In fact, there was a detailed article about it here, in perfect alignment with what just happened to me.

The article:

So, mystery of how they got my password = solved.
Apparently, this scam had been making the rounds for at least two years. If you, or anyone you know, receives an e-mail like this, don’t fall for it. Also, let’s say I were dumb enough to have taken the bait and sent them the money they wanted, what guarantee do I have that they won’t come back again, demanding more? I can only imagine how many people bought into this. The old password was my first clue that something wasn’t right. Another clue was the way they switched gears so rapidly, “let’s get directly to the point”. Clever little scam.

More details about the sender:

In the bulk of the e-mail, when I highlighted the entire text, the spaces between lines revealed words that are not visible without highlighting. It’s as though that part of the text was somehow made white, to be invisible. It contained my username (amanda36c), my password and then a non-word such as “ytaegso”. While the “amanda36c and password” repeated, the non-word in there kept changing but it was always some strange word that made no sense.

Another oddity: The amount they demanded was not even a round number. $896. Perhaps a cross-reference method.

Yet another oddity (or plain stupidity on their part) was to leave their BTC address. I’m not familiar with Bitcoin or how it works but any transfer of money online has to have some type of trace to the person accepting funds. However, that would be law enforcement’s job to investigate.

The e-mail, in its entirety read:

I do know ********** is your passwords. Lets get directly to the point. There is no one who has paid me to investigate about you. You may not know me and you’re most likely thinking why you are getting this e-mail?

actually, i actually setup a software on the 18+ streaming (porno) website and you know what, you visited this website to experience fun (you know what i mean). While you were viewing video clips, your internet browser began operating as a Remote control Desktop that has a key logger which gave me access to your display as well as web camera. immediately after that, my software obtained your entire contacts from your Messenger, FB, as well as emailaccount. and then i created a double-screen video. First part shows the video you were watching (you’ve got a nice taste lol), and second part shows the view of your cam, yeah its u.

There are not one but two possibilities. We will study these types of choices in particulars:

Very first solution is to dismiss this e-mail. in this scenario, i most certainly will send out your recorded material to all your your contacts and also visualize about the shame you feel. Not to forget should you be in a relationship, just how this will affect?

Latter solution will be to give me $896. Lets name it as a donation. in this scenario, i will quickly remove your video footage. You will carry on with everyday life like this never took place and you will never hear back again from me.

You’ll make the payment via Bi‌tco‌in (if you don’t know this, search ‘how to buy b‌itcoi‌n’ in Google).

B‌T‌C‌ ad‌dre‌ss: 1EiJMyvw2NP6T6vyWQ81HgUfBUVT1mqZkM

[case sensitive so copy and paste it]

Should you are thinking of going to the law, look, this email can not be traced back to me. I have taken care of my moves. i am not looking to charge you very much, i just like to be paid. right now if i don’t get the ‌bi‌tco‌in‌, i will certainly send out your video recording to all of your contacts including family members, colleagues, and so forth. However, if i do get paid, i’ll destroy the recording immediately. If you want evidence, reply with Yeah! then i definitely will send out your video to your 5 contacts. it’s a non:negotiable offer, that being said please do not waste mine time & yours by replying to this e-mail.