The “You have used Zoom recently – I have very unfortunate news” 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 “You have used Zoom recently – I have very unfortunate news” blackmail email, including the grammatical and spelling errors:
Subject: Regarding Zoom Conference call
In case you didn’t get the last email. Pay attention now.
You have used Zoom recently. And I have very unfortunate news for you.
I’ll give you some background on what happened.
There was a zero day security vulnerability on Zoom app, that allowed me a full time access to your camera and some other metadata on your account.
Basically, you were hacked.
And as you can imagine in your worst dreams, I have made a footage with you as a main actor.
Where you work on yourself (perform sex act to be clear). Having fun is ok with me, but its not ok with your reputation.
Please dont blame me or yourself for this. You couldn’t know that the camera was working.
I’m sure you don’t want to be the next Jeffrey Toobin and get embarrassed in front of all your friends, family and colleagues.
You shouldget this very clear, I will send this video to all your contacts if I dont get paid.
Are you wondering how I got your contacts and emails? Through the same exploit, zoom app allowed me to extract all sensitive info from your device.
So here is what we will do. You pay me $2000 in bitcoin, and nothing of this will happen. You have 2 days to make the payment.
After I get the money, I will delete the footage and information about you. The amount is not negotiable.
Send 0.11 Bitcoin (less than 2k USD at the current exchange rate) to my wallet [removed] Having trouble with buying bitcoin? Just google on how to buy it, it’s very easy to use and anonymous.
P.S. Don’t try to report this to the police, I use TOR and bitcoin can’t be traced. Do not email me back. If you do something stupid, I will distribute the video.
Good luck. Don’t stress.
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 “You have used Zoom recently – I have very unfortunate news” email, we recommend to delete it and under no circumstances send any money to these cybercriminals.
Is the “You have used Zoom recently – I have very unfortunate news” email real?
No, and don’t panic. The “You have used Zoom recently – I have very unfortunate news” 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 “You have used Zoom recently – I have very unfortunate news” 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 “You have used Zoom recently – I have very unfortunate news” email, and under no circumstances pay these cybercriminals a penny/dime/bitcoin.
What should I do now?
We recommend that you ignore the content of the “You have used Zoom recently – I have very unfortunate news” 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