How to avoid the 'I know you are a pedophile Email' scam

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

"I know you are a pedophile" removal guide

What is "I know you are a pedophile Email"?

"I know you are a pedophile Email" is a scam, an email that scammers use to extort money from unsuspecting people. To achieve this, they claim that they have infected the computer with a remote access tool (RAT), which allowed them to record 'humiliating videos'. They threaten to proliferate these videos unless recipients send them a specific cryptocurrency sum (ransom). Do not trust this scam, since all claims are false.

I know you are a pedophile spam campaign

According to scammers responsible for the "I know you are a pedophile Email" scam, recipients have downloaded software that installed a RAT on their computers. This allowed scammers to access the desktop, connect a camera (or webcam), and to access various files, passwords, and contact lists. They claim that they have recorded four videos within which recipients can be seen watching sexual videos involving minors. Scammers threaten to send these videos to family members, friends, colleagues, and even the local police office unless they receive $5000 (equivalent in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency) within one week. As mentioned above, however, "I know you are a pedophile Email" is merely a scam. Emails of this type can never be trusted. If you receive such an email in the inbox or spam folder, ignore the message and and delete it.

We receive a great deal of feedback from concerned users about this type of email scam. Here is the most popular question we receive (in this case, relating to a scam that claims to have obtained compromising videos or photos of the user):

Q: Hi 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.

Threat Summary:
Name "I know you are a pedophile Email" scam.
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.
Fake Claim Scammers claim that they have recorded humiliating videos and will spread them unless they are paid within one week.
Ransom Size $5000 in Bitcoins
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address 3HdxVRvF48cdVunEpGXj2r5hqafsYG2nEH (Bitcoin)
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the user'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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Other examples of email scams are "ChaosCC hacker group", "The last time you visited a Porn website", and "Hacker who has access to your operating system". Generally, scammers behind them claim that they have recorded humiliating videos or photos and threaten to distribute them unless a specific sum is paid (typically, using a cryptocurrency). In any case, these emails should never be trusted. In many cases, cyber criminals send emails that are used to distribute malware. They send the emails with attached files - if opened, these install malicious programs such as TrickBot, Hancitor, Emotet, FormBook, and so on.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Downloads and installations of malware through emails happen only when people open website links or files included within them. Therefore, these emails are harmless unless recipients open the attached files or presented links. Typically, cyber criminals attach files such as Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript files, executable files such as .exe, archives such as ZIP, RAR, PDF documents, and so on. For example, if the attached file is a MS Office document, it will demand permission to enable macros command (to enable editing) if opened. Giving such permission will allow it to install high-risk malware. Note that attached files cannot do any harm as long as they remain unopened.

How to avoid installation of malware?

All software and files should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links. Third party downloaders, unofficial pages, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule and other sources of this kind should not be trusted. They might be used as channels to distribute malicious software. Furthermore, it is unsafe to use software 'cracking' tools to activate installed programs or operating systems. These can cause installation of malware. It is also illegal to activate programs with them. Installed software should be updated via tools or implemented functions that are designed by official software developers. Third party updaters often distribute malware or other unwanted software. If the MS Office suite is installed with a version older than 2010, update it. Later versions include "Protected View" mode, which prevents rogue documents from installing malicious software. Also have reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed and scan the system with it regularly. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "I know you are a pedophile Email" message:

Yeah. I know you are a pedophile.
Actually I know way more about you than you think.

I am a computer scientist (internet security specialist) with affiliation with the Anonymous group.

Few months ago you downloaded an application.
That application had a special code implanted purposely.
Since the moment you installed it, your device started to act like a Remote Desktop I was able to access anytime.

The program allowed me to access your desktop, your camera(s), your files, passwords and contact lists. I also know where you live and where you work..

I was observing you for quite some time and what I have collected here is overwhelming.
I know about your sexual preferences and your interest in young bodies.

I have secured 4 video files clearly showing how you - (captured from your internet browser).
Glued together is a pretty overwhelming evidence that you are a pedophile.

The timestamps on the video files indicate the exact time you have been -:
1560855884.mp4 (121.4 MB)
1559037177.mp4 (106.4 MB)
1559318281.mp4 (22.8 MB)
1561307152.mp4 (98.9 MB)

I am not here to judge the morality of your sexual preferences, I am here to make money. Because I know you are a wealthy person and that you do care about your reputation, I am willing to give you a chance to atone and I will leave you alone.

You do know what Bitcoin is, right ?

You must fund a special address with 5,000 USD in Bitcoin, otherwise, I am going to se?d those video files to your family members, friends and your work buddies.

I know it may be time consuming to buy 5,000 USD in bitcoin, so I will give you exactly one week. Search on google 'how to buy bitcoin' and send it to me.
Enough is enough. I have seen enough..

If you do not send the bitcoins in one week, I will also feed those video recordings to your local police office. Your life will be ruined, trust me. Transfer details are below..

Send exactly:
0.472074 BTC

to my bitcoin address:


(copy and paste)

1 BTC is worth 10,485 USD right now, so send exactly: 0.472074 BTC.
Make sure the amount and address is copied correctly - this way I will know the transfer is coming from you.

As soon as you send bitcoins, I will remove the videos from my drive and remove the software allowing me to access your device.

If you do not cooperate, I will start sending out those videos to people you care about.
Not excluded that after sending to one person, I will ask 10x more from you. I can make you suffer, trust me.

Don't even think about going to police. If you try, I will immediately know it and I will feed them your -.

5,000 USD is a fair price for my Silence don't you think?

You have only one week & better act fast.

Send exactly:
0.472074 BTC

to my bitcoin address:


(copy and paste)

Do not reply to this email, it's an untraceable one time message.
I will contact you.

Remember, I am watching you.

Sp3ctr3 (N1ghTm4r3)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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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 Malwarebytes 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 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 file 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 Malwarebytes for Windows.

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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 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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