Burn-out…

Sooner or later all of us in the Anti-scam community will suffer from burn-out at some level. For those who do not work in the Anti-scam community think of what we do as a second job. One that you never get paid for in money but only in the satisfaction of doing the right thing. I have worked more than one 8 hour night after working my real life job during the day doing Anti-scam activities. It can be fun posting Scammer information and doing whatever I can to hurt the scammers and help victims find out that they are being scammed and get them back into the real world outside of the scam. But doing this can also wear you down at times. It is no fun hearing a victim tell you that they sent their life savings to their scammer. It is no fun getting an E-mail from a victim who says they took out a loan so they could send the money to their lover ( the Scammer) and will spend years paying that loan back.
So what keeps me going?
One is that I work with a great team here at Scamsurvivors.com. We all work hard to keep this site up and running and helping victims. Knowing there is a great team of people I work with here makes the work I do easier. But in the end, it’s about helping the victims. It’s about helping those people who have lost everything to the scammers and need our help. Its about posting scammer information so people can find it in a Google search and be warned about the scammer. We do this for the countless victims that we have helped and can post on our website that they are out of the scam and will be ok and those who never will post on our site that we helped them.

New and improved, or just repackaged?

More and more we’re seeing so called “experts” announce some “new” scam that are in fact nothing more than old scams with a slight twist.  The latest one is an email sent out with the person’s password and a claim that their computer has been compromised and footage of them visiting porn sites have been made.  The email starts with this sentence:

I’m aware that XXXXXX is your password.

That part’s new, but it’s the only part of it that is.  The rest is identical to emails we’ve been receiving for almost a year.  You can see the thread in question at https://scamsurvivors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=60846

It’s the same format, same threats, even the same method of payment.  This evolution comes about due to the scammers using hacked lists that feature email addresses and passwords.  Here’s samples, first of the ones we received way back in September of last year, then of one of these so called “new” emails.  See if you can spot the similarities:

All in all- if you want me to destroy all this compromising evidence, here is my BTC wallet address- 16NqZUQSH8VbJSzn8Hj1W7dU3geSQ7AehM (it must be without «spaces» or «=aquo;,check it). If you do not know how to use it, you can ask google or youtube for help- its very easy. I suggest, that 290 usd will finish our problem and will destroy our touchpoint in perpetuity. You have thirty hours after reading this message(I put tracking pixel in it, ill know when you read it). If you wont finish transaction, ill share the compromising with all contacts I’ve collected from you.

Now the second one:

Well, I believe, $1400 is a fair price for our little secret. You’ll make the payment via Bitcoin to the below address (if you don’t know this, search “how to buy bitcoin” in Google) .

BTC Address: 1Dvd7Wb72JBTbAcfTrxSJCZZuf4tsT8V72

(It is cAsE sensitive, so copy and paste it)

Important:

You have 24 hours in order to make the payment. (I have an unique pixel within this email message, and right now I know that you have read this email). If I don’t get the payment, I will send your video to all of your contacts including relatives, coworkers, and so forth. Nonetheless, if I do get paid, I will erase the video immidiately. If you want evidence, reply with “Yes!” and I will send your video recording to your 5 friends. This is a non-negotiable offer, so don’t waste my time and yours by replying to this email

The amounts change, the Bitcoin address changes, but the threats pretty much stay the same.  They even both mention the “tracking pixel”, though one calls it “an unique pixel”.  This “new” email suddenly doesn’t look so new, does it?  Let’s go even further back and look at the emails that were sent out after the Ashley Madison hack back in 2015.  This thread is at https://scamsurvivors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=38976 if you want to check it out.  How do they compare?  Let’s take a look at a snippet of one of those emails:

 If you would like to prevent me from sharing this dirt info with all of your friends, family members, spouse, then you need to send exactly 1 bitcoin (BTC) to the following BTC address:

Bitcoin Address:
19qbfGUPRTvZ9yAtRNusbLdyg5Pbe6DSK 4

We are providing a chance to solve this case. You make a payment to the above mentioned btc address. The time ends in the next 24 hours. We will not publish your data and we will not inform your contacts.

You can get bitcoins at an exchange like Expresscoin.com, Localbitcoins.com, Clevercoin.com, Coincorner.com, Coincafe.com, Coinbase.com, Circle.com or a Bitcoin ATM machine Coinatmradar.com.

If you pay within 24 hours of receipt then we will delete your record. No payment? Then you will see what happen after this period. Once this period has expired, we can’t do anything more for you. Our website is launching soon. We will surprise your family, friends and colleague with it. We will give you this one last chance.

You may be wondering why should you and what will prevent other people from doing the same, in short you now know to change your privacy settings in Facebook so no one can view your friends/family list. So go ahead and update that now (I have a copy if you dont pay).

Suspiciously familiar isn’t it?  Now tell me again about these new scam emails that are doing the rounds…

What do a sexortion scammer’s threats look like? Here’s an example.

Do not try to cut the cam or stand up otherwise I think you’ll see me act in the minutes that follow.

Listen I remind you that your video is 55% on the site www.youtube.com

So to avoid any sort of problem I just give you 2s to restart this cam or I swear I’ll start publishing your video.

Would you really like this video of you to be well and truly accessible to all your friends and loved ones without forgetting your friends? I SWEAR TO SWEEP THIS VIDEO OF YOU TO ALL YOUR FAMILIES FRIENDS CLOSE TO YOUR CLOSE IN THE OCCURENCE AND WELL HEARD WITH ALL YOUR COLLEHUES TO THE MEDIA WITHOUT DOUBT IN THE PRESS THEN IF YOUR NOT WANTED THAT THE SALES YOUR NAME AND YOUR IMAGE TO THE EYES OF ALL DOES WHAT I ASK FOR YOU

Would you like me to send this to the inhabitants of all your present city and to the media like the FIGARO?

Believe me I’m more than determined to rot your life Make your life a shame, a disgrace, a hell, a real disaster, a hell on earth and also I remind you that I’m heartless I have no pity for rot a life and if you have doubts, try and you’ll see

I’m more than determined to rot your life to make it a waste, a garbage can, a shame, a disgrace, a real disaster, a hell on earth and also I remind you that I am heartless I have no pity for rot a life as well as yours.

So tell me, Would you like this video of you to be shared on all these online video sites such as:

www.france24.fr
www.youtube.com
www.tv5.fr
www.tf1.fr
www.hotmail.com
www.msn.messenger.fr
www.twitter.com
www.wat.tv
CTV Television Network
www.youtube.com
Canal +
LCP AN / Public Senate
BFM TV
RMC Discovery
Number 23
Antenna 2
The Parliamentary Channel
NT1
Europe 2 TV
RMC Discovery
Canal +
euronews
Sport Stars Trace

You would like, that this video of you is shared on all these sites I listen to you ??????????

You would like this video of you to be shared on all these sites
I’m listening to you???????????

You want to have a limited freedom because I would not hesitate also to make you famous also in all the NGOs that fight against these kinds of practices of sexual exhibition in lines present in your locality like these person on the pictures I listen to you.

so if all of this seems like you’re having fun, then go, try to play hard, hold my head or even try to play the fugitives and you’ll see if I lose a single moment sharing this video from You with your knowledge and place of work XXXXXX I guess that’s what you want ??

I will send to your contacts the link of your video on youtube and I will create profiles in your name with an image of you extracted from the video and I will also send this image by fax to the tradesmen of your district. I am able to make all that you know?

Believe me I’m not kidding because I would not hesitate a second published this video of you all over the web by placing it on all the major online video sharing sites of the world

I am the devil who is just there to rot you, so you can never escape from me wherever you go, if you try to play hard and run away you will regret it all your life.

In spite of that I would put everything in my power so that the media and the newspapers make noise on you and your video and I will make of you and your video an encyclopedia because your video to harden me enough to rot your life.

Would you like it to be within the reach of all the inhabitants and also to all the inhabitants of your current city: XXXXXX?

According to article 227-23 of the French Penal Code which incriminates any representation (drawings, virtual images, etc.)
You are accused of insulting the public morals of a state, of perverse acts and of pedophilia.

you know very well that this act that you have just made is illegal according to the article 25 of the law 765465 of the 7 OCTOBER, You will be locked up of 5 years of prisons and followed of a fine of 75.000 €.

Would you like this video of you to be published worldwide?

0k Well, if you have this idea to go to the police or gendarmerie run quickly and do it, mas know one thing there you will only make the situation worse and you will pushed me to the end, I swear that people do not will be able to prevent me from diffused, shared, published this video of you in all the world and put it with the port of all your

It’s not just sex that needs to be done safely.

I’ve just read an article on someone playing with romance scammers, and feel the need to point some things out.  It’s safe to say I know a thing or two on the subject, having baited my first romance scammer back in 2006.  Back then it was a different beast, as almost no one was dealing with romance scammers, so we had to learn as we went along.  We made mistakes, but learned from them and became better and safer baiters for it.  The one big thing we learned was never to use our own identity to bait scammers.  Everything from our date of birth to our pet’s name would be made up.  Locations were fictitious and photos would be taken from mug shots and the like.  Even when I do interviews, I use a fake name even if I have to show my actual face.

Now imagine my surprise when I read a story today that had someone using their real details to bait scammers.  Name, photos and location.  Seriously?  This is stuff we realised a dozen years ago was a bad idea, yet people still do it and the media praise them for doing so.  Me, I’m sticking to keeping everything fake and keeping myself safe thank you very much.