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Do not trust I have to share bad news with you email scam

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

I have to share bad news with you email scam removal guide

What is I have to share bad news with you email scam?

Scammers behind sextortion emails threaten recipients to send humiliating videos, photos of them, or other compromising information to friends, coworkers, family, social network contacts, etc., if a ransom is not paid (usually in Bitcoin). Typically, scammers claim to have infected computers with malware that allowed them to access webcam and obtain those compromising videos, photos. These emails cannot ever be trusted. For the most part, these emails can be ignored. Neither images nor videos that scammers claim to have obtained and threaten to release exist.

I have to share bad news with you email scam email spam campaign

The scammers behind this particular sextortion email claim to have access to devices that recipients use to browse the Internet and used it to track browsing activities. They also claim to have installed Trojan on all the devices that recipients use to log into their email accounts, and used that Trojan to access the microphone, video camera (webcam) and keyboard), download various information, photos, web browsing history, hijack messengers, social network and email accounts, steal chat history and contacts list. Like most sextortion emails, this one is used to trick recipients into believing that malware on their computers has captured embarrassing videos through the webcam, and those videos will be sent to people that recipients know (e.g., friends, colleagues, relatives) if they do not pay a ransom. Scammers demand to transfer them $950 in Bitcoins to the provided Bitcoin wallet address and claim that recipients have 48 hours to pay the ransom. It is important to mention that sometimes sextortion emails contain real passwords that recipients have used in the past (or are still using). Usually, real passwords are included to make it look like the rest of the email is also true. Scammers obtain them from darknet (they come from data breaches). Either way, these sextortion scams should be ignored.

Threat Summary:
Name I have to share bad news with you email scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Trojan on computers has captured humiliating videos of recipients through their webcams
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Addresses 1L6XxPRuLJdr6JCqw8dwNUm1wFLisrGREL, 1LKWDMofCWVgDSUH3Qoui6LxJ2VSUtsDCE, 1xPr18gM8YKsaiUkGz9MgpjtwcBQcME2i, 16aqr3rXxCtxa8AK3ErftnBQLfzyyhjpXJ, 1Hjpu99iHc3oi55ZJKf6RHhKbwit8vEzTS
Ransom Size $950
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the 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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It is noteworthy that scammers often use email spoofing to make their emails look more believable. Email spoofing is a technique used to forge the sender's address. Usually, scammers use this technique to trick recipients into thinking that an email came from some legitimate company, a person they known, or from themselves. In the third case, scammers attempt to trick recipients into believing that they actually have access to the email account when in reality, they simply spoofed the email. More examples of sextortion scams are "Within 96 Hours I'll Ruin Your Prestige Email Scam", "I Monitored Your Device On The Net For A Long Time Email Scam", and "I Know That You Visit 18+ Content Email Scam". It is important to mention that emails can be used not only to trick recipients into making monetary transactions but also into installing malware on their computers.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Users infect computers via emails when they open malicious attachments or files that they have downloaded via website links in those emails. In most cases, cybercriminals attempt to trick recipients into opening some malicious PDF or Microsoft Office document, JavaScript file, ZIP, RAR or other archive file, an executable file (e.g., EXE). Usually it is enough to execute a malicious file to start the infection. Although, malicious documents opened with Microsoft Office 2010 or newer versions cannot install malware unless users enable editing/content (macros commands). It is because Microsoft Office 2010 and later versions have the "Protected View" feature which prevents malicious documents from infecting computers with malware. Therefore, it is advisable not to open documents with older versions.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Attachments, website links in irrelevant emails received from unknown, suspicious senders not be opened. It is important to remember that emails of this kind often are disguised as important letters from legitimate companies. Software should be downloaded from official websites and via direct links. It is not advisable to use unofficial websites, third party downloaders (or installers), Peer-to-Peer networks like torrent clients, eMule and similar tools, sources for downloading (or installing) software. Already installed programs and the operating system itself should never be updated or activated with unofficial tools. The only proper and safe way to activate or update software is by using tools, implemented functions from official software developers. Moreover, it is not legal to use 'cracking' tools or pirated (hacked) software. Additionally, it is advisable to scan the operating system with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software, and do it on a regular basis. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Appearance of the email (GIF):

i have to share bad news with you email scam appearance

Text in the email:

Subject: Payment from your account.


Greetings!

I have to share bad news with you.
Approximately few months ago I have gained access to your devices, which you use for internet browsing.
After that, I have started tracking your internet activities.

Here is the sequence of events:
Some time ago I have purchased access to email accounts from hackers (nowadays, it is quite simple to purchase such thing online).
Obviously, I have easily managed to log in to your email account (****@****.com).

One week later, I have already installed Trojan virus to Operating Systems of all the devices that you use to access your email.
In fact, it was not really hard at all (since you were following the links from your inbox emails).
All ingenious is simple. =)

This software provides me with access to all the controllers of your devices (e.g., your microphone, video camera and keyboard).
I have downloaded all your information, data, photos, web browsing history to my servers.
I have access to all your messengers, social networks, emails, chat history and contacts list.
My virus continuously refreshes the signatures (it is driver-based), and hence remains invisible for antivirus software.

Likewise, I guess by now you understand why I have stayed undetected until this letter...

While gathering information about you, I have discovered that you are a big fan of adult websites.
You really love visiting porn websites and watching exciting videos, while enduring an enormous amount of pleasure.
Well, I have managed to record a number of your dirty scenes and montaged a few videos, which show the way you masturbate and reach orgasms.

If you have doubts, I can make a few clicks of my mouse and all your videos will be shared to your friends, colleagues and relatives.
I have also no issue at all to make them available for public access.
I guess, you really don't want that to happen, considering the specificity of the videos you like to watch, (you perfectly know what I mean) it will cause a true catastrophe for you.

Let's settle it this way:
You transfer $950 USD to me (in bitcoin equivalent according to the exchange rate at the moment of funds transfer), and once the transfer is received, I will delete all this dirty stuff right away.
After that we will forget about each other. I also promise to deactivate and delete all the harmful software from your devices. Trust me, I keep my word.

This is a fair deal and the price is quite low, considering that I have been checking out your profile and traffic for some time by now.
In case, if you don't know how to purchase and transfer the bitcoins - you can use any modern search engine.

Here is my bitcoin wallet: 1L6XxPRuLJdr6JCqw8dwNUm1wFLisrGREL, 1LKWDMofCWVgDSUH3Qoui6LxJ2VSUtsDCE, 1xPr18gM8YKsaiUkGz9MgpjtwcBQcME2i, 16aqr3rXxCtxa8AK3ErftnBQLfzyyhjpXJ, 1Hjpu99iHc3oi55ZJKf6RHhKbwit8vEzTS

You have less than 48 hours from the moment you opened this email (precisely 2 days).

Things you need to avoid from doing:
*Do not reply me (I have created this email inside your inbox and generated the return address).
*Do not try to contact police and other security services. In addition, forget about telling this to you friends. If I discover that (as you can see, it is really not so hard, considering that I control all your systems) - your video will be shared to public right away.
*Don't try to find me - it is absolutely pointless. All the cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous.
*Don't try to reinstall the OS on your devices or throw them away. It is pointless as well, since all the videos have already been saved at remote servers.

Things you don't need to worry about:
*That I won't be able to receive your funds transfer.
- Don't worry, I will see it right away, once you complete the transfer, since I continuously track all your activities (my trojan virus has got a remote-control feature, something like TeamViewer).
*That I will share your videos anyway after you complete the funds transfer.
- Trust me, I have no point to continue creating troubles in your life. If I really wanted that, I would do it long time ago!

Everything will be done in a fair manner!

One more thing... Don't get caught in similar kind of situations anymore in future!
My advice - keep changing all your passwords on a frequent basis

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:
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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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 1Download 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 "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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 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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