How Bitcoin address searches can help curb Bitcoin sextortion ?

If you haven't heard of this yet, it is an unfortunate reality that many people have faced by 2020. Bitcoin sextortion refers to scams using Email, videos, and passwords to extort BTC. Millions of people worldwide have received sextortion scams emails as of July 2020 asking for Bitcoin. Sometimes these sextortion schemes have included recipients' passwords to make the threat scarier. The authorities are doing everything in their place to curb this trend including advising people on what to do if they receive a Bitcoin sextortion email. The number of Bitcoin sextortion targets has increased dramatically over the recent past; tens to hundreds of millions of people receive sextortion scam emails in one week. Believe it or not, some people receive between two and five different varieties of this scam. These scams exploit global botnets on compromised PCs to dispatch millions of spam emails to recipients globally in different languages ranging from Chinese, English, Italian, German, and French.

Bitcoin Sextortion

Sextortion is a widely used form of online blackmail where a cyber-scammer threatens to reveal intimate images or videos of someone online to their friends, family, work colleagues, or social media list unless a ransom is paid quickly. Such scammers often demand payment in cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin. The extortion demand is typically somewhere from $700 to $4000, payable to a bitcoin address provided in the email. One form that this sextortion and blackmail often takes is the scammer will claim that they have compromised your computer or other electronic devices and that your webcams have been recording you watch sexual content. They will threaten to upload a video of you masturbation or having sex, just to scare you. Another form that this could take is they could lie about making a video of you on a porn site with the screenshots and your webcam footage side-by-side. They will convince you that they used malware to film you via your webcam and to take screenshots of your browser. That is why covering the camera on your computer is helpful in the prevention of sextortion. To scare you further, the scammer may even include your full or partial password as proof that there is malware on your computers. Such passwords are often old ones you used at some point and they have been dredged up from old data breaches. There is no need to be afraid because the scammers rarely have your recent passwords.

Sextortion on social media platforms

Other than email, sextortion can occur on a social network platform such as

  • Facebook messenger
  • WeChat
  • Line
  • Kakaotalk
  • Skype
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp - is particularly popular for sextortion, someone can befriend you and ask for a selfie or sexy videos which they can then later use to blackmail you.

What action should be taken when you receive a Sextortion Email?

Receiving a Bitcoin sextortion is not scary when you read about it, you are confident that you will smell the scammer from miles away. However, when it happens to you, it is very alarming and intimidating. Contrary to the scammer's threats, you should know for sure that they do not have any compromising information on you. They don't have a screenshot, a video, or a list of your family and friends. The U.K. National Agency has advised the following steps if you receive a Bitcoin sextortion scam, but they apply globally.

  • Stop communication with the person immediately
  • Don’t pay any money
  • Save all of the original e-mails from the hacker for evidence
  • Take screenshots of the conversation for evidence
  • Report the scam to the police
  • Bitcoin address search – as mentioned earlier, Bitcoin sextortion scam e-mails often provide a Bitcoin address for you to wire money to. Even though Bitcoin addresses are highly private, they are pseudonymous which essentially means that a Bitcoin address search will give you the IP address that the scammer used. The IP address will make it easier to get a hold of the scammer and save other people from such blackmail.