I Have A Forum In The Darkweb Email Scam

Also Known As: I Have A Forum In The Darkweb spam
Damage level: Medium

What is "I Have A Forum In The Darkweb"?

"I Have A Forum In The Darkweb" is a scam that is distributed as a spam campaign - scammers send this email to many people. Generally, emails of this type are used to blackmail people.

The cyber criminal behind this scam presents himself as a 'hit man' who was supposedly assigned to hurt the recipient(s). In fact, "I Have A Forum In The Darkweb" is a common scam that should not be taken seriously.

I Have A Forum In The Darkweb spam campaign

The cyber criminal responsible for sending this email is presented as a hit man who accepts requests to harm people in one or another way through an account on the dark web. According to this scammer, he takes all kinds of jobs: ruins people's businesses, injures people, and so on.

In this particular case, he claims that he has received a request to throw acid on the face of the recipient of the email. He offers a compromise: he promises potential victims not to take the job if they agree to send him $1500 in Bitcoin via the Bitcoin wallet address provided. He gives six hours to make the transaction.

In the the email subject line, the scammer advises potential victims not to contact the police (or any other authorities). This however, is simply a scam. Cyber criminals send emails to many people hoping that someone will take it seriously and send the money (cryptocurrency).

In summary, all claims made by the "I Have A Forum In The Darkweb" scam are bogus. We strongly recommend that you ignore it. Do not believe any messages of this type.

Threat Summary:
Name I Have A Forum In The Darkweb 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)

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Many scammers proliferate different spam campaigns, however, their main purpose is to extort money from people by making various threats. Other scams of this type include "Your Account Was Hacked", "You May Not Know Me", and "We Are Not Going To Steal A Lot Of Time". Unfortunately, cyber criminals often send similar deceptive emails to cause computer infections.

They usually spread malicious programs such as LokiBot, TrickBot, Emotet, AZORult, Adwind, and other high-risk computer infections. Typically, these emails are presented as official/legitimate and contain attachments/attached files (or web links that lead to them).

Cyber criminals usually attach Microsoft Office documents (Excel, Word, and so on), JavaScript files, executables (.exe files), archives (ZIP, RAR or other), PDFs, etc. The main purpose of these emails (scams) is to trick people into downloading and opening the presented attachments. Once opened, they install high-risk computer infections/malicious programs.

These programs cause privacy issues, threaten browsing safety, cause data/financial loss, etc.

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?

Cyber criminals benefit from spam campaigns that contain malicious attachments (or web links that lead to them) only when these attachments are opened. If an attached file is a Microsoft Office document, it should ask for permission to enable macros commands.

This feature is called "Protected View" mode, which is designed to protect computers from infection by malicious documents. If permission to enable them is given, the infected document starts downloading and then installing certain malicious programs.

If the attached file is an executable file, to cause any damage, it must first be executed. Archive files must be extracted, their contents opened, and so on.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To prevent computer infection by malicious programs proliferated through email attachments, handle received emails with care. Emails that contain attachments and are received from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be trusted without carefully studying them first. All software should be downloaded using official sources (websites) and direct links only.

Third party downloaders, Peer-to-Peer networks (torrent clients, eMule etc.), unofficial websites and other such tools should be avoided. You are strongly advised to update software only through tools or implemented functions that are provided by official software developers. Unofficial updaters should not be trusted or used.

Reputable anti-virus or ant-spyware software can also protect computers from infection - have this software installed and enabled at all times. 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 "I Have A Forum In The Darkweb" email message:

Subject: (#7821) I advise you not to call the police 14.02.2019 06:08:53
Non parlo italiano,ma questa lettera Ë scritta per te.
I have a forum in the darkweb,I produce all sorts of services - basically it is demolition to bussiness and injur\'y.above all,all but the homicide.Often this happens because of unrequited love or competitio\'n at workplace.
This month he contacted me and set me the task of splashing aci\'d in your face.Standard order - fast,painfully,for life.Without too much fuss.I get receive only after doing the work.Therefore, now I offer you send money to me to be inactive,I suggest this to nearly all the victims.
If I do not receive money from you, then my performer will fulfill the task.If you give me money,besides to my inactivity,I will provide you the information that I have about the client.
After completing the order, I often waist the performer,so I have a choice,to get $1500 from you for information about the customer and my inaction,or to get $ 6000 from the customer,but with a big probability of losing the performer.
Iím getting payme\'nts in bt\'c,its my QR-COD\'E (bitc0in addres`s)
(This is case sensitive,you can use bitpay.com) read this barcode
The sum I told above
6 hours to transfer and remember that clock is beating

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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing 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.

Email-virus icon 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.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

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:

Example of an email spam

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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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 malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

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