The “I have to share bad news with you” email is a scam that tries to trick you into thinking that your computer or phone is infected with malware and then threatens to make your personal data public. Contrary to the claims in the email, you haven’t been hacked (or at least, that’s not what prompted this email) and this is nothing more than a scam that tries to trick you into sending Bitcoins to these scammers. This is merely a new variation on an old scam which is popularly being called “sextortion”.
This is the text of the “I have to share bad news with you” blackmail email, including the grammatical and spelling errors:
Subject: Payment from your account.
I have to share bad news with you.
Approximately few months ago I have gained access to your devices, which you use for internet browsing.
After that, I have started tracking your internet activities.
Here is the sequence of events:
Some time ago I have purchased access to email accounts from hackers (nowadays, it is quite simple to purchase such thing online).
Obviously, I have easily managed to log in to your email account
One week later, I have already installed Trojan virus to Operating Systems of all the devices that you use to access your email.
In fact, it was not really hard at all (since you were following the links from your inbox emails).
All ingenious is simple. =)
This software provides me with access to all the controllers of your devices (e.g., your microphone, video camera and keyboard).
I have downloaded all your information, data, photos, web browsing history to my servers.
I have access to all your messengers, social networks, emails, chat history and contacts list.
My virus continuously refreshes the signatures (it is driver-based), and hence remains invisible for antivirus software.
Likewise, I guess by now you understand why I have stayed undetected until this letter…
While gathering information about you, I have discovered that you are a big fan of adult websites.
You really love visiting porn websites and watching exciting videos, while enduring an enormous amount of pleasure.
Well, I have managed to record a number of your dirty scenes and montaged a few videos, which show the way you masturbate and reach orgasms.
If you have doubts, I can make a few clicks of my mouse and all your videos will be shared to your friends, colleagues and relatives.
I have also no issue at all to make them available for public access.
I guess, you really don’t want that to happen, considering the specificity of the videos you like to watch, (you perfectly know what I mean) it will cause a true catastrophe for you.
Let’s settle it this way:
You transfer $950 USD to me (in bitcoin equivalent according to the exchange rate at the moment of funds transfer), and once the transfer is received, I will delete all this dirty stuff right away.
After that we will forget about each other. I also promise to deactivate and delete all the harmful software from your devices. Trust me, I keep my word.
This is a fair deal and the price is quite low, considering that I have been checking out your profile and traffic for some time by now.
In case, if you don’t know how to purchase and transfer the bitcoins – you can use any modern search engine.
Here is my bitcoin wallet:
You have less than 48 hours from the moment you opened this email (precisely 2 days).
Things you need to avoid from doing:
*Do not reply me (I have created this email inside your inbox and generated the return address).
*Do not try to contact police and other security services. In addition, forget about telling this to you friends. If I discover that (as you can see, it is really not so hard, considering that I control all your systems) – your video will be shared to public right away.
*Don’t try to find me – it is absolutely pointless. All the cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous.
*Don’t try to reinstall the OS on your devices or throw them away. It is pointless as well, since all the videos have already been saved at remote servers.
Things you don’t need to worry about:
*That I won’t be able to receive your funds transfer.
– Don’t worry, I will see it right away, once you complete the transfer, since I continuously track all your activities (my trojan virus has got a remote-control feature, something like TeamViewer).
*That I will share your videos anyway after you complete the funds transfer.
– Trust me, I have no point to continue creating troubles in your life. If I really wanted that, I would do it long time ago!
Everything will be done in a fair manner!
One more thing… Don’t get caught in similar kind of situations anymore in future!
My advice – keep changing all your passwords on a frequent basis
The above email and anything it states is just a scam to try and scare you into paying the ransom. If you have received the “I have to share bad news with you” email, we recommend deleting it and under no circumstances send any money to these cybercriminals.
Is the “I have to share bad news with you” email real?
No, and don’t panic. The “I have to share bad news with you” email is a scam that tries to trick you into thinking that your device or email has been hacked, then demands payment, or else they will send compromising information -such as images of you captured through your web camera or your pornographic browsing history – to all your friends and family. And in classic ransomware fashion, there’s typically a ticking clock. Giving users a short time limit to deliver the payment is social engineering at its finest.
Threats, intimidation, and high-pressure tactics are classic signs of a scam.
As you can imagine, the “I have to share bad news with you” extortion email and anything it states is just a scam to try and scare you into paying the ransom.
They have my password! How did they get my password?
To make the threats more credible, the scammers may include one of your passwords in this email. The scammers have your password from sites that were hacked, and in this case, likely matched up to a database of emails and stolen passwords and sent this scam out to potentially millions of people. You can check if your email or password was compromised in a data breach on Haveibeenpwned.
If the password emailed to you is one that you still use, in any context whatsoever, stop using it and change it NOW. It’s also recommended that you enable two-factor authentication for your email and online accounts whenever that is an option.
Should I pay the ransom?
You should not pay the ransom. If you pay the ransom, you’re not only losing money but you’re encouraging the scammers to continue phishing other people.
Delete the “I have to share bad news with you” email, and under no circumstances pay these cyber criminals a penny/dime/bitcoin.
What should I do now?
We recommend that you ignore the content of the “I have to share bad news with you” email and delete it from your Inbox. However, if you have downloaded any attachments or clicked on any links from this email, or if you suspect that your computer might be infected with malware, you can follow the below guide to and scan your device for malware and remove it for free.
Depending on which operating system is installed on the device you want to scan for malicious programs, follow the removal guide.
- Scan and remove malware from Windows
- Scan and remove malware from Mac
- Scan and remove malware from Android