Threatening emails with phrases like “I know that you visit 18+ content!” are being sent to people by cybercriminals. These emails say that an intimate video of yours will be sent to your contacts if you don’t send hundreds of dollars to a certain address.
Don’t panic – these emails are scams (or very mean pranks). Nobody has any recordings of you. The “I know that you visit 18+ content!” emails embody just one of many scams that are being spread right now.
Extortion Emails I Know That You Visit 18 Content quicklinks
- Emails say that your device was infected
- Extortion and threats
- What causes extortion emails
- How to protect yourself from scam emails
- Automatic Malware removal tools
About the emails:
|The goal of the emails||To scare you into paying a ransom of up to $500.|
|How the “I know that you visit 18+ content!” scams spread||Scammers got your email address (it’s not your fault, though),
they send you a generic extortion email.
|How to avoid scam emails||Use antivirus programs (Spyhunter for PC, Combo Cleaner for Mac, etc.) to protect your device from malware,
be suspicious of unexpected emails that ask you to open a link or an attachment.
Emails say that your device was infected
Did you get an email saying that someone recorded your camera while you were visiting adult video websites? Are the authors of the email threatening to send this video to your contacts if you don’t pay a large sum of money?
This is a scam email. The criminals say that they “know that you visit 18+ content” and threaten that they recorded your video while you were on adult sites. In reality, they’ve done no such thing. They want to scare you into paying them.
Cybercriminals got your email address – they likely have lists with thousands of email addresses that they send the same scary letters to. These letters say that intimate videos of yours were recorded and that they’ll be sent to your contacts:
Your smartphone got infected so I was able to record with your camera and the microphone without your knowledge while you satisfy yourself!
My malicious application that was installed also had another function, to extract all your contacts from phonebook, social media contacts, emails.
Anway, to get rid of my backdoor sneaky application reset your device to factory settings. Use Google for “Reset to factory settings [your phone model]”.
The text of the email might be different in your case. Scammers change words and phrases or include random symbols everywhere to get around spam filters.
Extortion and threats
The “I know that you visit 18+ content!” emails give you a Bitcoin wallet address to send hundreds of dollars to. Supposedly, if you don’t, your intimate video will be sent to your contacts.
Here is the deal… you have to pay me 500$ equivalent value in BitC0in the video with you doing you know what will be sent to your contacts.
This scam is similar to the Save Yourself and I Know Your Password scams. However, those at least had leaked passwords to scare people with. With “I know that you visit 18+ content!”, there’s nothing – only empty threats.
In theory, it’s possible for a trojan to infect your computer, tablet, or phone, and for hackers to take control of your camera, microphone, and other devices. It’s not even always a criminal thing- advertisers might use your audio to recommend you their products (Your Phone Is Listening and its Not Paranoia).
That said, sextortion scams are just scary emails and you don’t need to take them seriously.
What causes extortion emails
The criminals got your email address somehow. There are a few ways this could have happened.
- They might have guessed your address. They might have generated a bunch of random addresses to send these emails to.
- Your email might have been leaked by a website that you’d signed up for. (Have I Been Pwned?).
- You signed up on a website with your email and that site shared your data with other sites. Over time, those email addresses might have ended up in the wrong hands.
Most likely, you didn’t do anything wrong for your email address to get into the wrong hands. Whatever happened, it doesn’t require your devices to be infected with any sort of malware.
There could still be malware on your computer. There’s no shortage of malicious apps, browser extensions, and programs that seek to take advantage of innocent users. But you receiving an extortion email like “I know that you visit 18+ content!” does not mean that there’s anything malicious on your device.
The problem is, you can’t really do much other than stay vigilant and be suspicious of unusual emails.
How to protect yourself from scam emails
Extortion scams like “I know that you visit 18+ content!” can be ignored. Although you should mark these emails as “Spam” in your email client. This will help spam filters recognize other scam mail and protect other users against them.
If cybercriminals have your email, then it’s recommended to always have a good antivirus program protecting you. It’s not just scams that come in malicious emails, it’s also malware infections. Never open links and attachments that come in suspicious emails. Scan your device with Spyhunter for Windows, Combo Cleaner for macOS, and other antivirus programs. If they find something suspicious on your device, they’ll warn you about it and give you the option to remove it.
As for the “I know that you visit 18+ content!” emails, it’s best to not contact the criminals who sent them. If you don’t respond, maybe they’ll stop sending you spam.
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