The “I Sent You An Email From Your Account” scam is a deceptive phishing campaign targeting unsuspecting email users. This fraudulent email claims hackers compromised your account to trick you into paying them. Here’s what you need to know about spotting and avoiding this scam.
This Article Contains:
Overview of the Scam
The “I Sent You An Email From Your Account” phishing scam message claims that hackers gained access to your email account and are now blackmailing you. These cunningly deceptive emails pretend to be from cybercriminals who allegedly infected your device with malware.
The scam email asserts that this malware allows the hackers complete access to your account, enabling them to read your emails, contacts, and send messages while posing as you. As “proof” of their access, they state that they’ve sent you an email from your own compromised account.
The criminals go on to threaten that they’ve been spying on you through your webcam and have embarrassing or compromising videos of you. They say they’ll send these videos to all your contacts if you don’t pay a ransom fee of $500 or more in Bitcoin within 24-48 hours.
Of course, the reality is that the scammers never hacked your account or device. The email is a devious scam tactic to extort money by exploiting fear and urgency. Here’s an example of what this phishing email looks like:
Subject: You password must be need changed
As you may have noticed, I sent you an email from your account. This means that I have full access to your account: On moment of hack your account has password: . You say: this is the old password! Or: I will change my password at any time!
Yes! You’re right! But the fact is that when you change the password, my trojan always saves a new one!
I’ve been watching you for a few months now. The fact is that you were infected with malware through an adult site that you visited.
If you are not familiar with this, I will explain. Trojan Virus gives me full access and control over a computer or other device. This means that I can see everything on your screen, turn on the camera and microphone, but you do not know about it.
I also have access to all your contacts and all your correspondence.
Why your antivirus did not detect malware? Answer: My malware uses the driver, I update its signatures every 4 hours so that your antivirus is silent.
I made a video showing how you satisfy yourself in the left half of the screen, and in the right half you see the video that you watched. With one click of the mouse, I can send this video to all your emails and contacts on social networks. I can also post access to all your e-mail correspondence and messengers that you use.
If you want to prevent this, transfer the amount of $780 to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how to do this, write to Google: “Buy Bitcoin”).
My bitcoin addresses (BTC Wallets) are: 19Q3HZtnznuB5cuWng8cacwqZV13gNpZaN, 1HPhZrmyevkNXKo1MYnZG1A65p2PtyEpqc, 18kXxMp9NuTMUFVAfXR4TFT4CrrHWVzwm4, 1PNpAXTo6jh4V9dhXRvimNYqPYjvZEnQiu, 16LBDius3vg6ufFvnc7PGXfiTZgphuZgr5, 18eBGkYam1wjz1S77jz3VmADuYYFzhA3vB, 1BPUUNghhuwQjDDvFd3TnJz2ato5dyDLr8, 1DrCbXWfTqJbaiak2wjGUQiEo1WBzCBnof, 1GEhuEajkFXVe7vhtZqy1hRLdCaguhWBC2, 19rvCcYfSwPUSvJJKNyTyRFi5vxt6zaqJC, 1KeCBKUgQDyyMpaXhfpRi2qUvyrjcsT44o, 1Jh1miFmhTmGQvn6Zejaqg85viD4k1vVjG, 142e8SgyTLnkvwkDkNNon9jMtKY4UDvQqr, 1GoWy5yMzh3XXBiYxLU9tKCBMgibpznGio, 1GdSHQ4aE7zUD8HDqVJDEwU9dxn3LfJLMK, 1N5PXJHzJFyFfyqd32Gn9FZsVzNz8hqjqs, 1JBFFHR8tGiMgYLpnZCVG8n4cSpm591urc, 14tfS3yWL2cABhXVJZ97XRhuDXC69aWH6Y, 1N6dubqFmnyQ2qDWvi32ppVbc3kKMTYcGW, 1DHymxN8JqSwECGLPVbRMVWXrod8vvii5A.
After receiving the payment, I will delete the video and you will never hear me again. I give you 48 hours to pay. I have a notice reading this letter, and the timer will work when you see this letter.
Filing a complaint somewhere does not make sense because this email cannot be tracked like my bitcoin address. I do not make any mistakes.
If I find that you have shared this message with someone else, the video will be immediately distributed.
This menacing message is designed to instill fear so recipients pay up. But it’s just a deceitful scam. Here’s how it works and why you must avoid falling for it.
How the “I Sent You An Email From Your Account” Scam Works
The cybercriminals behind this scam unleash a mass email campaign targeting countless potential victims. Here are the deceptive steps they take:
1. Obtain Email Addresses
Scammers acquire troves of people’s email addresses through various underhanded methods, including:
- Buying stolen email lists off the dark web
- Hacking sites and databases to steal account info
- Using email scraping tools to harvest addresses found online
- Exploiting vulnerabilities in websites to access user data
- Getting email lists leaked from data breaches
With a long list of emails in hand, the criminals are equipped to blast out their phishing scam.
2. Spoof the Sender’s Email Address
The scammers use technical spoofing tricks to disguise where the email originates from. They alter the message header so the “From” address shows one of your own email addresses.
Seeing your personal email appear to send this ominous warning makes it seem more credible that the hackers control your account as claimed.
3. Write a Threatening Ransom Note
The scam email is crafted to provoke fear and urgency. The criminals assert they’ve been spying on you for months through malware installed when you visited an adult site.
They threaten to leak embarrassing videos filmed of you unless you pay the ransom in Bitcoin within 24-48 hours. The ransom demanded is often $500 or more.
4. Provide Bitcoin Payment Instructions
Bitcoin is the preferred payment method since it offers more anonymity compared to traditional financial accounts. The email includes Bitcoin wallet addresses and may give basic instructions for purchasing Bitcoin.
This allows victims to easily submit payment while avoiding bank transactions that are easier to trace or recall.
5. Wait for Panicked Victims to Pay Up
The scammers blast out this professionally worded phishing email en masse to thousands of addresses. They bank on the email terrifying a percentage of recipients into paying the ransom right away.
Once payments start rolling in, the crooks pocket the Bitcoin with little effort. They never actually carry out threats to leak videos, as their only goal is to swindle people out of money.
Is the “I Sent You An Email From Your Account” email legit or a scam?
This suspicious email raises understandable concerns about the security of your account. However, the “I Sent You An Email From Your Account” message is completely fraudulent. Here are some clear signs it’s a phishing scam:
- It demands quick payment via Bitcoin only. Legitimate companies provide other payment options and won’t insist on rushed cryptocurrency transfers.
- The sender address is likely spoofed to show your own email instead of the scammer’s real address. This is a common scam technique.
- There are grammatical and formatting errors unprofessional for a real company. The threatening tone is also atypical.
- No legitimate business would threaten to leak supposed private videos of you if payment isn’t received. This is blackmail.
- Claims of hacking your account and recording you illegally are outrageous accusations no actual company would make.
- The email provides no concrete evidence, details or proof that your account was compromised as stated.
- Promises that paying them will resolve the fictional issues are false assurances meant to manipulate you.
If you have any doubts about a concerning email, reach out to the company directly using contact information from their official website to validate if the message is real. Use scrutiny when reviewing unsolicited emails for signs of phishing. Never act solely based on an email without verification first.
How to Spot This Scam Email
Though these phishing emails may look legit, there are ways to identify the scam:
- Sender Address – Scammers often spoof the sender address to appear as your own email. But you can check the full header to see the true originating address.
- Poor Grammar/Spelling – Phony emails tend to contain typos, bad punctuation, and other linguistic mistakes. Legit companies will have proper writing.
- Threats and Ultimatums – Real companies won’t demand urgent payment under threats of leaking supposed videos. This is criminal extortion.
- Generic Greetings – Scam emails typically start with impersonal greetings like “Hello” or “Dear user” rather than your name.
- Sense of Urgency – Language insisting you act now is suspicious. Valid warnings provide reasonable timeframes.
- Slightly Altered Logos – Scammers copy company logos but they may look slightly off. Compare carefully.
- Bitcoin Payment Demands – Credible businesses do not insist on Bitcoin ransoms, which are highly anonymous.
- Outrageous Accusations – Claims of illegally spying on you and hacking are not things lawful companies would openly admit to.
- No Evidence Provided – The email won’t contain any proof the account compromise happened.
Stay vigilant and use common sense when evaluating any questionable email. Do further verification on the company and sender to confirm an email’s authenticity before acting on anything.
What to Do If You’re Targeted by This Scam
Here are important steps to take if you receive this “I Sent You An Email From Your Account” phishing email demanding Bitcoin:
Don’t Pay the Ransom
No matter how frightening the email seems, do not pay the ransom under any circumstances. The scammers never truly accessed your accounts or system. Paying them simply funds criminal operations and won’t stop non-existent videos from leaking.
Report the Email as Phishing
Forward the scam email to your email provider’s abuse department so they can block the fraudulent account. You can also report phishing scams to platforms like Google Safe Browsing and PhishTank to get the domain blacklisted.
Scan Devices for Malware
It’s highly doubtful any malware is installed as claimed, but running a scan using updated antivirus software can identify and remove any potential threats present.
Change Passwords and Enable 2FA
Reset your email password and passwords for other critical online accounts, making them long and strong. Turn on two-factor authentication for an added layer of security against break-in attempts.
Watch for Suspicious Activity
Keep an eye out for any strange occurrences that could indicate an actual compromise, like unknown login attempts or password reset emails. Check bank/credit statements frequently for any unauthorized transactions.
Ignore Follow-up Extortion Emails
The crooks may send more threatening messages demanding Bitcoin if the initial scam email goes unpaid. Ignore these demands – engaging with scammers only leads to more harassment.
Is Your Device Infected? Check for Malware
If your device is running slowly or acting suspicious, it may be infected with malware. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free is a great option for scanning your device and detecting potential malware or viruses. The free version can efficiently check for and remove many common infections.
Malwarebytes can run on Windows, Mac, and Android devices. Depending on which operating system is installed on the device you’re trying to run a Malwarebytes scan, please click on the tab below and follow the displayed steps.
Scan your computer with Malwarebytes for Windows to remove malware
Malwarebytes is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware software for Windows, and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.
Download Malwarebytes for Windows.
You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.MALWAREBYTES FOR WINDOWS DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.
When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the MBSetup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with a User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the Malwarebytes installation.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.
When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes setup wizard which will guide you through the installation process. The Malwarebytes installer will first ask you what type of computer are you installing this program on, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
On the next screen, click “Install” to install Malwarebytes on your computer.
When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen.
Click on “Scan”.
Malwarebytes is now installed on your computer, to start a scan click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malicious programs.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will now scan your computer for browser hijackers and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
Click on “Quarantine”.
When the Malwarebytes scan is finished scanning it will show a screen that displays any malware, adware, or potentially unwanted programs that it has detected. To remove the adware and other malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
Your computer should now be free of trojans, adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.
If your current antivirus allowed this malicious program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing Malwarebytes Premium to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:
Scan your computer with Malwarebytes for Mac to remove malware
Malwarebytes for Mac is an on-demand scanner that can destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss without costing you absolutely anything. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free, and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.
Download Malwarebytes for Mac.
You can download Malwarebytes for Mac by clicking the link below.MALWAREBYTES FOR MAC DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Mac)
Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.
When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the setup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.
When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes for Mac Installer which will guide you through the installation process. Click “Continue“, then keep following the prompts to continue with the installation process.
When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen. Click the “Get started” button.
Select “Personal Computer” or “Work Computer”.
The Malwarebytes Welcome screen will first ask you what type of computer are you installing this program, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
Click on “Scan”.
To scan your computer with Malwarebytes, click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes for Mac will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malware.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will scan your computer for adware, browser hijackers, and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
Click on “Quarantine”.
When the scan has been completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malware that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
Your Mac should now be free of adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.
If your current antivirus allowed a malicious program on your computer, you might want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove a malicious program from your computer, please ask for help in our Mac Malware Removal Help & Support forum.
Scan your phone with Malwarebytes for Android to remove malware
Malwarebytes for Android automatically detects and removes dangerous threats like malware and ransomware so you don’t have to worry about your most-used device being compromised. Aggressive detection of adware and potentially unwanted programs keeps your Android phone or tablet running smooth.
Download Malwarebytes for Android.
You can download Malwarebytes for Android by clicking the link below.MALWAREBYTES FOR ANDROID DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes for Android)
Install Malwarebytes for Android on your phone.
In the Google Play Store, tap “Install” to install Malwarebytes for Android on your device.
When the installation process has finished, tap “Open” to begin using Malwarebytes for Android. You can also open Malwarebytes by tapping on its icon in your phone menu or home screen.
Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the setup process
When Malwarebytes will open, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through a series of permissions and other setup options.
This is the first of two screens that explain the difference between the Premium and Free versions. Swipe this screen to continue.
Tap on “Got it” to proceed to the next step.
Malwarebytes for Android will now ask for a set of permissions that are required to scan your device and protect it from malware. Tap on “Give permission” to continue.
Tap on “Allow” to permit Malwarebytes to access the files on your phone.
Update database and run a scan with Malwarebytes for Android
You will now be prompted to update the Malwarebytes database and run a full system scan.
Click on “Update database” to update the Malwarebytes for Android definitions to the latest version, then click on “Run full scan” to perform a system scan.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will now start scanning your phone for adware and other malicious apps. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
Click on “Remove Selected”.
When the scan has been completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes for Android has detected. To remove the malicious apps that Malwarebytes has found, tap on the “Remove Selected” button.
Restart your phone.
Malwarebytes for Android will now remove all the malicious apps that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your device.
Your phone should now be free of adware, browser hijackers, and other malware.
If your current antivirus allowed a malicious app on your phone, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your phone after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps:
- Restore your phone to factory settings by going to Settings > General management > Reset > Factory data reset.
- Ask for help in our Mobile Malware Removal Help & Support forum.
Frequently Asked Questions About the “I Sent You An Email From Your Account” Scam
This deceptive phishing scam has many recipients concerned and confused. Here are answers to some key questions about the fraudulent “I Sent You An Email From Your Account” message.
What is the “I Sent You An Email From Your Account” scam?
This is a prevalent email phishing campaign where scammers send messages pretending your email account has been hacked. The email claims they can read your messages and contacts, and have embarrassing videos to blackmail you with unless you pay a Bitcoin ransom. It’s completely fake.
How does this email scam work?
The criminals spoof the sender address so it appears the email comes from your own account. The message threatens to leak supposed videos filmed of you unless you pay within 24-48 hours. In reality, they don’t have any such videos – it’s just a scam tactic.
Are the hackers’ claims in the email real?
No, the scammers have not actually hacked your account or installed malware on your device as claimed. They never accessed your email, contacts, or camera. There is no real basis for any of their threats about having videos of you.
Should I pay the ransom the email demands?
No, never pay ransoms to unknown scammers, especially via Bitcoin. The threats are entirely empty extortion tactics to scare you into paying. Paying them only enables these phishing scams to persist.
What if I already paid the ransom?
If you did already pay, contact your bank and the Bitcoin exchange you used to see if the transaction can be stopped. You can also report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. Don’t pay any additional demands.
How are the scammers getting people’s email addresses?
These scams cast wide nets, acquiring thousands of addresses through methods like buying stolen data online, hacking websites, phishing, and more. Emails can also be leaked from data breaches.
How can I spot this phishing scam?
Look for poor grammar, threats demanding quick payment in Bitcoin, the sender address spoofed to look like your email, intimidation tactics, blown claims of hacking your system, urgent threats, and other red flags.
What should I do if I receive this scam email?
Do not pay anything. Report the email as phishing to your provider. Check devices for malware and reset account passwords just in case. Monitor financial statements for misuse and watch for other odd activity.
How can I avoid falling victim to this scam?
Using strong unique passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, keeping software updated, and being cautious about links/attachments can help protect you. Anti-virus software and backing up data are also good precautions.
Who can I contact if I have been targeted by this scam?
Report phishing scams like this to platforms like Google Safe Browsing, PhishTank, and the Anti-Phishing Working Group. You can also file internet crime complaints with the FBI at www.ic3.gov.
The Bottom Line
The “I Sent You An Email From Your Account” phishing scam preys on victims’ fears of embarrassing or sensitive content being leaked. By pretending to have compromised your email, the scammers exploit urgency to trick recipients into paying Bitcoin ransoms.
But this scam has no truth behind it. Your account isn’t really hacked, and the scammers have no videos to expose you with. Recognize these tactics for what they are – devious lies meant solely to swindle and extort. Report the fake emails, fortify your online security, and advise others about this scam.