Today I received a fabulous email. It came to my work email address – no surprise there, as this is plastered all over this blog and my website and so is easily harvested – and makes reference to a password that I used a few years ago but have discarded as being too simple to hack (as this demonstrates). MLROs and other AML-ers know that sextortion emails are now a “thing”, but how many of you have received one? Now that I have, I thought I would share it with you in its entirety, so that you can appreciate its (a) unpleasantness, (b) lucidity and (c) level of demand. Knowing just what such an email looks like might help inform the red flag transactions that you could describe for your monitoring systems. So grab an elevenses biccie, put your feet up and enjoy my email from Quinton Migliassi (not his real name, I suspect…):
I will directly come to the point. I’m aware **** is your password. More to the point, I know your secret and I’ve proof of your secret. You do not know me and no one hired me to look into you.
It is just your bad luck that I discovered your misadventures. Actually, I setup a malware on the adult vids (sex sites) and you visited this website to experience fun (you know what I mean). While you were busy watching videos, your internet browser started out functioning as a Rdp (Remote control desktop) that has a key logger which provided me accessibility to your display and also webcam. Immediately after that, my software collected your complete contacts from your Facebook, and email.
I then gave in much more hours than I should’ve digging into your life and made a double-screen video. First part shows the video you were viewing and second part shows the capture from your webcam (it’s you doing nasty things).
Honestly, I am ready to forget about you and allow you to get on with your regular life. And I am going to give you two options that can achieve that. The two choices with the idea to ignore this letter, or just pay me $ 2750. Let us examine these two options in more detail.
Option One is to ignore this e-mail. Let me tell you what will happen if you pick this path. I will definitely send your video recording to all of your contacts including members of your family, co-workers, and so on. It does not protect you from the humiliation your household will ought to face when friends discover your unpleasant details from me.
Second Option is to make the payment of $ 2750. We’ll call this my “privacy fee”. Now let’s see what happens if you opt this option. Your secret remains your secret. I’ll destroy the recording immediately. You move on with your daily life as if nothing like this ever happened.
Now you must be thinking, “I should go to the cops”. Without a doubt, I’ve taken steps in order that this e mail can’t be linked to me plus it won’t steer clear of the evidence from destroying your health. I’m not trying to break your bank. I just want to be paid for my efforts I placed into investigating you. Let’s hope you have decided to make all this vanish entirely and pay me the confidentiality fee. You’ll make the payment via Bitcoins (if you don’t know this, type “how to buy bitcoins” in search engine)
Transfer Amount: $ 2750
Receiving Bitcoin Address: 1H*VZD6xfCNt7WPKKnxfbRp1yPS5UiHJ4Ft (You need to Remove * from it and copy and paste it)
Tell no-one what you will be sending the Bitcoins for or they might not sell it to you. The task to acquire bitcoins usually takes a short time so do not put it off.
I’ve a unique pixel in this email message, and now I know that you have read this email. You now have two days in order to make the payment. If I do not get the Bitcoin, I definitely will send out your video to your contacts including relatives, co-workers, etc. You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. However, if I do get paid, I’ll destroy the recording immediately. It is a non-negotiable offer, thus kindly don’t ruin my time and yours. Your time has started. You should know that my malware is going to be tracking what action you’re taking after you’re done reading this message. Swear to god, If I see any suspicious activity from your search history I will send out your videotape to your close relatives, co-workers even before time ends.
Of course I would be laughing on the other side of my face if I had been watching “adult vids”, but I know full well that my idle browsing time is spent watching animals doing daft things, Tracey Ullman impersonating Angela Merkel, and clips of old episodes of “Poldark” so that I can huff about how the new Ross is not a patch on the old one. Oh hang on, maybe that’s what our friend Quinton has seen: me drooling over Robin Ellis in a tricorne hat.
Sadly these sort of threats have led to suicide, and suicide attempts. I like to think that everyone is basically good but there are plenty that keep proving me very wrong.
Indeed, Roy, and as with all bullying and extortion attempts, the best thing we can do is call them out on it and expose their disgusting attempts. What they want is to create shame and shadows and we shall not give them either.
Glad to see that you’re not worried about the “unique pixel”! $2,750 seems a remarkably specific blackmail demand too. I wonder how they came up with that?
I have had two more (all but identically worded) demands since then, although not from my friend Quinton. One from Cyrus Sims asked for a rather greedy $7,050 while the third from Christa (like Madonna and Cher, she needs only one name) suggested a bargain $1,000.
What I want to know is whether you have all received the video(s) yet. I’m not terribly photogenic and I’m not holding out much hope of Scorsese-standard production techniques, but we shall see…
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