What is the "I have got two not really pleasant news for you" scam email?
"I have got two not really pleasant news for you" refers to a sextortion spam campaign. The term "spam campaign" defines a large-scale operation during which deceptive emails are sent by the thousand.
The letters distributed through this campaign - use the sextortion scam model, which states that the sender has obtained explicit recordings (of a sexual nature) featuring the recipient. It must be emphasized that the claims made by "I have got two not really pleasant news for you" emails - are false.
Hence, no compromising videos of the recipient exist, and the scammers' threats are empty. Therefore, these scam letters must be ignored.
The "I have got two not really pleasant news for you" scam letters (subject/title "Bill for Payment #0740"; may vary) claim that the sender has been monitoring the recipients' Internet activities for a while. This was made possible through spyware trojans with which the recipients' devices have allegedly been infected.
The fake infiltration occurred when a harmful link present in an email - was clicked. The sender identifies themselves as an employee of a company providing security and email provider performance related services.
The nonexistent company supposedly services the recipients' workplace as well. The scam emails then tell the tale of how the sender has been working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has gained access to employee databases of various companies.
The letters state that the sender has access to the workers' passwords, chat histories, and browsing activity. The sender proclaims that they found out that 75% of employees regularly visit adult-themed websites and/or participate in explicit NSFW (Not Safe For Work) chats.
The deceptive emails inform the recipient that they are one of the worst offenders on this bogus list. Therefore, the sender claims to have employed their malware (which is stated to be able to stealthily use the infected devices' microphones, cameras, etc.) - to record videos of the recipient while they were visiting adult sites.
Additionally, from the infiltrated system, the imaginary trojan has obtained contact lists, social media accounts, chat histories, and stored media files. Recipients are given 48 hours to pay the sender - else the compromising video will be shared with their contacts/friends and/or leaked online.
To prevent publication of the fictional recording, the letters demand recipients pay 1450 USD in Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The recipients are told not to attempt contacting the sender and simply pay the ransom by transferring it into the provided cryptowallet address.
As mentioned in the introduction, all the claims made by the "I have got two not really pleasant news for you" emails - are fake. This means that the recipients' devices are not infected, nor are they being monitored.
Hence, no videos of them - compromising or otherwise - exist. These scam emails make fabricated threats in order to trick victims into making monetary transactions.
The scammers behind this spam campaign are incapable of carrying out their threats, and recipients are in no danger whatsoever. Therefore, the "I have got two not really pleasant news for you" letters must be disregarded.
|Name||I have got two not really pleasant news for you Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam emails claim that an explicit video of the user will be leaked unless they pay a ransom.|
|Ransom Amount||1450 USD in Bitcoin cryptocurrency|
|Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address||1LsTK4bKaUGMXgbqo4n3Vc7quu6UvATjfz (Bitcoin)|
|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)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
"I have to share bad news with you", "Within 96 hours I'll ruin your prestige", "I monitored your device on the net for a long time", "Zero day security vulnerability on Zoom app", and "I know that you visit 18+ content" are some examples of sextortion spam campaigns. The letters sent through these operations - are usually disguised as "official", "urgent", "important", and similar.
The deceptive emails are used for phishing and other scams, as well as malware (e.g., trojan, ransomware, etc.) proliferation. Regardless of what the scam emails offer, promise, request, or demand, their end-goal is the same - to generate profit for the scammers/ cyber criminals behind them. Due to how prevalent spam mail is, it is important to exercise caution with incoming emails.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Systems are infected via malicious files distributed through spam campaigns. These files can be attached to the emails, and/or the letters can contain download links of such infectious content.
For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins the moment a document is opened - in Microsoft Office versions released before 2010.
Newer versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users are requested to enable editing/content (e.g., macro commands) and warned of the potential risks.
How to avoid installation of malware?
Dubious and irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any links or attachments found in them. Additionally, it is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.
Aside from spam campaigns, malware is also distributed through untrustworthy download sources (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation ("cracking") tools, and fake updates. Therefore, it is advised to use only official and verified download channels.
It is just as important to always activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by genuine developers. It is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and kept updated.
Furthermore, this software has to be used to perform regular system scans and remove detected threats and issues. If you've 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 got two not really pleasant news for you" scam email letter:
Subject: Bill for Payment #0740
I have got two not really pleasant news for you.
I have been monitoring your internet activities for some time by now.
The only person to blame in this situation is you, since you are a big fan of adult websites and also have got an uncontrollable desire to indulge yourself with another orgasm.
Simply speaking, all your porn websites search requests have become a key to access your device.
The thing is that I word in a company that provides services related to security and performance of email providers, including ******** as well.
During the pandemic outbreak a lot of providers have faced difficulties in maintaining a huge number of staff in their offices and so they have decided to use outsourcing instead.
While working remotely from home, I have got unlimited abilities to access the user databases.
I can easily decrypt passwords of users, access their chat history and online traffic with help of cookie-files.
I have decided to analyse users traffic related to adult websites and adult content.
I was truly shocked to discover that nearly 75% of users regularly access porn websites or participates in sex chats.
I have filtered out the worst perverts from the list. Yeah, you are one of them. Not everyone chooses to watch such hardcore videos...
Basically, I have infected your device with one of the best Trojan viruses in the market. It was relatively easy, since I have access to your email address (********).
It was sufficient to prepare one of your routine emails asking you to click the harmful link...
My spyware functions as a driver. Hence, I can fully control your device and have access to your microphone, camera, cursor and set of symbols.
Generally speaking, your device is some sort of my remote PC.
Since this spyware is driver-based, then I can constantly update its signatures, so that no antivirus can detect it.
While digging through your hard drive, I have saved your entire contact list, social media access, chat history and media files.
One week ago, I have montaged a videoclip, which shows you masturbating on one side of the screen and on the other side a porn video
that you were watching at that moment of time - recently this type of exotic stuff is really popular on the internet!
Don't worry, I will need just a few mouse clicks in order to share this video with your entire contact list and upload it to some porn website, like Bigle.
I believe that you would not like this to happen, since a long holiday season is just about to start soon -
just imagine the number of silly jokes and loud laughter that would get provoked by your video all over the neighbourhood bars and pubs...
I am offering a simple and reasonable solution:
All you need to do is transfer an amount equivalent to $1450 (USA Dollars) to my bitcoin wallet and we both forget about this silly story forever.
All your data and this video will be deleted by me once and for all. You have my honest word!
You've got to agree, this amount is really insignificant. Just imagine how much time and resources I have spent to get this done...
If you don't know how to operate the cryptocurrency - you can always search for assistance online. It is that simple.
Here is my bitcoin wallet (BTC): 1LsTK4bKaUGMXgbqo4n3Vc7quu6UvATjfz
You have exactly 2 days (48 hours) from the moment of opening this email.
I can easily track when you have opened this email (my software will notify me about it). Once you complete the transaction - I will be able to see and confirm that.
Please, do not try replying me via this email - there is no point in that (I have generated the header of this email as well as return address).
Remember that there is no point to complain anywhere, since I cannot be found (Bitcoin system is anonymous and I am also using I2P network in order to access your device).
I have considered all the small details.
In case, if 48 hours after you have opened this email,
I still don't receive the required amount of money, then your videoclip will be automatically sent to all your contact list and uploaded to public websites.
Good luck and please don't hate me too much!
This is life! You are merely out of luck this time.
Who knows, maybe next time you will get lucky at something else...
Appearance of the "I have got two not really pleasant news for you" scam email (GIF):
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- What is I Have Got Two Not Really Pleasant News For You 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.