I Am Well Aware Email Scam

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Severe

"I Am Well Aware" removal guide

What is "I Am Well Aware"?

"I Am Well Aware" is a fraudulent email (a scam) used to extort money from people by threatening to proliferate compromising videos. By sending this email to many users, scammers attempt to trick recipients into believing that they have recorded compromising videos and will send them to all contacts unless ransoms are paid. There are many scam campaigns of this type, none of which should be trusted. All statements issued by the "I Am Well Aware" email are false.

I Am Well Aware spam campaign

According to scammers, they have used an adult website to install a remote access tool into the recipient's computer while he/she was visiting it. As a result, this tool apparently allowed them to gain access to the user's web cam, monitor activities performed on the computer, and steal email, Facebook, and Messenger contacts. Cyber criminals claim that they have recorded a compromising video of the recipient watching an adult video and threaten to send this to all stolen contacts. They demand payment of $996 (in Bitcoins) transferred to a Bitcoin wallet provided, which is not to be disclosed elsewhere. Scammers promise to delete the recorded video as soon their ransom demands are met. We strongly recommend that you ignore the "I Am Well Aware" scam. Claims of having installed a remote access tool, recorded a compromising video, stolen contacts, and so on, are false. They send this email to many people and hope that someone will fall for the scam. Unfortunately, sometimes they succeed.

Threat Summary:
Name I Am Well Aware 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.
Removal

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There are many examples of other spam campaigns of this type, most of which are very similar. Just a few examples are I Sent You An Email From Your Account, Looked At You For Several Months, and I Am A Spyware Software Developer. Typically, scammers send these emails to trick people into believing that they have obtained humiliating material (photos, videos etc.) and will distribute it if their demands are not met. Other spam campaigns infect computers with viruses such as TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Adwind, LokiBot, and so on. Cyber criminals achieve this by sending emails that contain malicious attachments - often Microsoft Office documents, executable files (.exe), PDF documents, archive files (ZIP, RAR, and others), and so on. If such an attachment is opened, it downloads and installs a high-risk virus. Thus, having computers infected with these viruses can result in financial loss, other computer infections, problems with online safety, and so on. These attachments proliferate viruses that steal personal details (passwords, logins, banking details, and so on) and proliferate other computer infections (such as ransomware-type viruses).

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 cannot infect computers without the involvement of an email recipient (computer user). Therefore, attachments presented in these emails can cause computer infections only if they are opened. For example, if the presented attachment is a malicious Microsoft Office document, once opened, it asks for permission to enable macro commands. If enabled, they begin the download and installation process of a virus. If the attachment is an archive file (ZIP, RAR, or other), its contents must first be extracted and executed. If an email contains an executable (.exe) file, it must be executed, and so on.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Do not open attachments or web links included in emails received from untrustworthy, suspicious, or unknown addresses. Simply ignore/delete them. Furthermore, do not download software from unofficial, untrustworthy websites using third party downloaders, peer-to-peer networks, or other dubious sources. Install/download software with care, check all settings (or options) such as "Custom", "Manual", "Advanced", and opt-out of offers to install any additionally-included software that you do not want to install (or download). Avoid using third party, unofficial (fake) software updaters. These tools are often employed by cyber criminals to trick users into installing viruses rather than updates or fixes. The best and safest way to update software is using functions and tools provided by official software developers. Another recommendation is to use Microsoft Office versions that are no older than 2010. These versions have "Protected View" mode integrated, thus preventing malicious attachments from downloading viruses. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Spyhunter for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "I Am Well Aware" email message:

Subject: Info

I am well aware ******* is one of your pass words. Lets get directly to the point. Not a single person has paid me to investigate you. You may not know me and you're probably thinking why you are getting this e mail?


actually, i setup a software on the 18+ vids (sex sites) website and there's more, you visited this site to experience fun (you know what i mean). When you were watching videos, your web browser initiated operating as a Remote Desktop having a keylogger which provided me accessibility to your display screen and web cam. after that, my software program collected every one of your contacts from your Messenger, Facebook, as well as email . after that i created a double video. First part shows the video you were watching (you have a fine taste haha . . .), and next part shows the view of your webcam, yeah its u.


You will have a pair of options. We will read up on the solutions in particulars:


1st solution is to disregard this message. in this instance, i most certainly will send out your actual tape to every single one of your contacts and also think about concerning the shame you will get. Moreover if you happen to be in a loving relationship, exactly how it is going to affect?


Number two option would be to compensate me USD 996. Let us name it as a donation. as a result, i most certainly will without delay eliminate your videotape. You can keep going your way of life like this never occurred and you are never going to hear back again from me.


You will make the payment via Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search 'how to buy bitcoin' in Google search engine).


BTC address to send to: 1DG8pnwK9vdevHjB1nfDQRUmyYVJyPQNf9, 1Lq8TnU33SMFUXcyGYmwkfriaBAfEoX5Co


[case-SeNSiTiVe copy & paste it]


if you have been making plans for going to the authorities, okay, this e-mail can not be traced back to me. I have covered my actions. i am not looking to charge you a huge amount, i simply prefer to be rewarded. email message%}. if i don't receive the bitcoin, i will, no doubt send out your video recording to all of your contacts including close relatives, coworkers, etc. Nevertheless, if i do get paid, i will destroy the recording immediately. If you need evidence, reply with Yup & i definitely will send your video to your 8 friends. This is the non:negotiable offer, that being said do not waste mine time & yours by responding to this email.

Instant automatic removal of possible malware infections: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of possible malware infections. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Spyhunter for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example, using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

 

manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

extract autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck the "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware filename that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Spyhunter for Windows.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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