Looked At You For Several Months Email Scam
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is "Looked at you for several months"?
"Looked at you for several months" is a scam (a spam email campaign) used to trick recipients into believing that anonymous hackers have recorded a compromising/humiliating video and will proliferate it if their ransom demands are not met. In fact, there are hundreds (or even more) similar spam campaigns online - all should be ignored.
Scammers send these emails to thousands of people in the hope that some will be tricked. Note: this email is sent using the "email spoofing" method. In this way, scammers falsify the sender's address, thus making it seem as if the recipient was also the sender.
According to the "Looked at you for several months" email message, a hacker infected the computer with malware (a malicious program) several months ago. It states that this happened when the user was visiting an adult site.
This scammer claims that he was able to gain access to the recipient's computer (to monitor computer activities, turn on the camera (webcam), microphone, and so on). It is also stated that all contacts were stolen.
The main purpose of this email is to convince the recipient that a hacker has recorded a compromising video and, if demands to pay 600 Euros (in Bitcoins) are not met, the video will be sent to all email and social networking contacts. The scammer promises to delete the video when the money is transferred.
The deadline is 24 hours from the time at which the email was opened. According to the scammer, a timer was installed to indicate when the email was opened. A warning is also given, stating that if the email is shared with someone else or reported, the video will be sent to all contacts immediately.
This is a common scam and the message should not be trusted. All statements about the computer being infected, controlled, video recorded, or data stolen, are false. We advise people who receive this email to delete it and never take any other similar spam email campaigns seriously.
|Name||Looked At You For Several Months Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Symptoms||Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of one's computer.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.|
|Damage||Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
Examples of other similar spam campaigns include I Am A Spyware Software Developer, So I'm the hacker who broke your email, and I'm a programmer who cracked your email. Typically, these emails share the same purpose: to trick people into believing that a third party has infected the computer and compromising material (humiliating photos, videos, etc.) has been obtained.
The main purpose of these scams is to extort money from regular users. Note that some spam campaigns are used to trick people into installing computer infections (such as TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Adwind, and many more) by downloading and opening malicious attachments (or opening web links).
These attachments are usually Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, executable files, archive files, and so on. The viruses proliferated using spam campaigns often steal data such as bank account details, passwords, logins, and other sensitive information.
Thus, having a computer infected with these viruses can lead to privacy, browsing safety issues, financial loss, and so on. Some of these malicious programs are capable of opening "backdoors" for other infections (such as ransomware-type viruses). Therefore, the presence of this malware might lead to further computer infections.
We receive a great deal of feedback from concerned users about this scam email. Here is the most popular question we receive:
Q: Hi pcrisk.com team, I received an email stating that my computer was hacked and they have a video of me. Now they are asking for a ransom in Bitcoins. I think this must be true because they listed my real name and password in the email. What should I do?
A: Do not worry about this email. Neither hackers nor cyber criminals have infiltrated/hacked your computer and there is no video of you watching pornography. Simply ignore the message and do not send any Bitcoins. Your email, name, and password was probably stolen from a compromised website such as Yahoo (these website breaches are common). If you are concerned, you can check if your accounts have been compromised by visiting the haveibeenpwned website.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Spam email campaigns (that contain malicious attachments) usually infect computers when the presented links or attachments are opened (.exe files executed, and so on). For example, if the attachment is an MS Office document (Word, Excel, or other), once downloaded and opened, it will demand permission to enable macro commands.
Once enabled, the malicious document will have permission to download and install a virus. In other cases, if the attachment is an archive file, its contents must be extracted and an executable file executed, and so on. In all cases, however, spam emails cannot do any harm if the attachment remains unopened.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Do not download/open attachments (or links) without first carefully inspecting the email. If the attached file (or entire email) seems irrelevant or has been received from a suspicious, unknown email address, it is better to keep it unopened. Furthermore, do not use third party software downloaders, installers, and other similar sources to download or install software.
These tools are often monetized by promoting rogue applications. Install and download software with caution and check all available "Custom", "Advanced" options and other similar settings of the download/installation set-ups. Opt-out of any offers to install unwanted software and only then finish the download or installation procedure.
Update your software via implemented functions or tools provided by official software developers. Using unofficial updaters might result in installation of malicious programs rather than the updates (or fixes).
Use Microsoft Office 2010 or later, since newer versions include "Protected View" mode that can prevent downloaded, untrustworthy attachments from downloading and installing computer infections. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Looked at you for several months" email message:
Subject: You have been hacked.
I have looked at you for several months.
In fact, you have been infected with malicious software through an adult site that you visited.
If you are not familiar with this, I will explain it.
The Trojan virus gives me complete access and control over a computer or other device.
That means I can see everything on the screen and turn on the camera and microphone, but you're not aware of this.
Thus, I also got access to all your contacts.
Why the antivirus program did not detect malicious code?
Answer: I have a Trojan driver, I update their signatures every four hours so your antivirus is silent.
I made a video showing how to satisfy yourself on the left half of the screen, and in the right half you see the video you watched.
With a click of a button, I can send this video to all your email and social networking contacts.
To prevent this, transfer the amount of 600 Ä to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how, google "Buy Bitcoin").
Bitcoin Address: 17viZFKw1Xn8WQcpC6GwLqjzLTcE7qBJ93
As soon as the payment is received, I will remove the video and you will never hear me again.
I give you 24 hours to pay.
Do not worry, I have a notification that reads this letter, and the timer works when you read this letter.
Submitting complaints to somewhere is not meaningful because this email can not be traced as my bitcoin address.
I make no mistakes.
If I find that you have submitted a report or shared this message with someone else, the video will be distributed immediately.
A Russian variant of "Looked At You For Several Months" scam email:
Text presented within:
Subject: Предложение о сотрудничестве.
Как уже видите - это не совсем обыденное письмо, к сожалению оно не означает для вас ничего хорошего.
Но не слишком переживайте, все поправимо. Я сейчас вам все объясню.
У меня есть доступ к вашим электронным устройствам, которые входят в вашу локальную сеть, которой вы регулярно пользуетесь.
Я отслеживаю вашу активность уже несколько месяцев.
Как это произошло?
Вы посетили взломанный веб-сайт с эксплойтом,и ваше устройство было заражено моей вредоносной программой (я купил ее в даркнете у хороших специалистов в этой области).
Это очень сложное программное обеспечение, работает как троянский конь, а поскольку оно регулярно обновляется, ни один антивирус не может его обнаружить.
Программа имеет кейлоггер, может управлять камерой и микрофоном, передавать файлы и предоставлять доступ к вашей локальной сети.
Мне потребовалось некоторое время, чтобы получить доступ к информации с других устройств, поэтому теперь у меня есть все ваши контакты с перепиской,
данные где вы бываете, что любите, какие сайты предпочитаете.
Если честно, сначала я не хотел делать ничего плохого и делал это просто ради развлечения. Это мое хобби.
Но я заболел COVID и потерял хорошую работу.
Так что я придумал, как использовать это, чтобы получить от вас деньги!
Я смонтировал видео о том, как вы мастурбируете. Это видео с разделенным экраном, на котором вас можно легко узнать, также отлично видно тематику видеороликов, которые вы предпочитаете.
Я не горжусь этим, но мне нужны средства, чтобы выжить.
Давайте сделаем сделку. Вы платите мне столько, сколько я прошу, и я не отправляю это видео всем вашим друзьям, семье и просто знакомым.
Вы должны понять, что это не шутка. Я могу отправить его по электронной почте, ссылкой через смс, социальных сетях даже выложить в массмедиа (у меня есть там взломанные аккаунты их администраторов).
Так что вы можете стать "звездой" твиттера или REN-TV!
Чтобы избежать этого, вы должны отправить мне 750 долларов в биткоинах на мой кошелек BTC: 1DVyH3fwo4ZXdGtyhqxjLiiyX82gwf2EZN, 1NfkqHF6UTpVXSDDz1PeazxhCsKTJ7ErKw
Если вы не знаете, как использовать биткоины, поищите в Bing или Google по запросу «купите биткоины» и такого подобия.
Я удалю видео, как только у меня будут деньги. Я также удалю вредоносное ПО с вашего устройства, и вы больше никогда обо мне не услышите.
Ставим крайний срок по сделке: даю вам 2 дня, этого более чем достаточно. Я сразу увижу когда вы откроете это письмо и засеку время, я слежу за этим!
Не пытайтесь сообщать об этом в полицию, я использую TOR, поэтому биткоин транзакции не отслеживается.
Не отвечайте мне (я сгенеировал это письмо в вашем аккаунте, вставив реальный адрес ничего не подозревающего человека). Так я делаю невозможным отследить меня.
Если вы наделаете глупостей, я моментально распространю видео.
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Looked At You For Several Months spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.
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