Do not trust the "Reminder about your dirty deeds!" scam emails
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is "Reminder about your dirty deeds!" email scam?
"Reminder about your dirty deeds!" refers to an email spam campaign - a large-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive letters are sent. The emails distributed through this campaign use the sextortion scam model. These letters claim that the scammer currently has access to the recipient's device.
The infiltration supposedly occurred through a recent log-in credential leak, which was used by third-parties to infect the exposed machines with malware. By using the nonexistent infection, the sender states to have obtained an explicit video of the recipient. Hence, if they refuse to pay - the video will be sent to their contacts.
It must be emphasized that all of the claims made by these scam emails - are false. Therefore, neither have the recipients' devices been compromised, nor were any recordings made.
"Reminder about your dirty deeds!" scam email in detail
The "Reminder about your dirty deeds!" emails (subject/tile "Money Transfer Confirmation."; may vary) state that the sender has been monitoring the recipient's online activity for about four months. The letters then tell the tale of how this became possible. Allegedly, half a year ago, there was a data leak that included the recipient's email provider.
Hackers used the exposed information to infect victims' machines with loader-type malicious programs, designed to download/install additional malware. This was supposedly the case with the recipient's device as well. The sender claims to have paid the hackers and subsequently infected several machines with spyware.
The operating systems that did not contain information of interest were injected with cryptocurrency miners. However, that was not the case with the recipient's device. The scammer dubs the recipient a "huge fan" of highly questionable (potentially illegal) pornographic content, as proven by their media player logs and browsing history.
Through the device's camera/microphone, multiple recordings have been made of the recipient while they were watching said material. Afterwards, several explicit split-screen videos were edited together, featuring the recipient at the top and what they were watching - at the bottom of the screen.
The recipient is informed that they must pay the sender 1550 USD worth of Bitcoin cryptocurrency within 48 hours, else the videos will be sent to their contacts' list - including colleagues, relatives, and friends. If the ransom demands are met, the sender promises that the video will be deleted and the spyware in their device - removed.
These hoax messages also contain information about Bitcoins and how difficult their transactions are to track, how the bogus publication and recording-deletion works, futility in responding to the email, and advice to change the log-in credentials (i.e., usernames/passwords) of the possibly compromised accounts.
As mentioned in the introduction, all of the claims made by the "Reminder about your dirty deeds!" emails - are fake. Therefore, recipients are in no danger whatsoever, and they must simply ignore these letters.
|Name||Reminder about your dirty deeds! Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam emails claim that an explicit/compromising video was made featuring the recipient, and unless they pay - it will be sent to their contacts.|
|Ransom Amount||1550 USD in Bitcoin cryptocurrency|
|Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address||199ZxJd71PJkMjjTdQdh7ekmQ2amE1tVe6 (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.
Spam campaigns in general
"I have e-mailed you from your account", "Your device was compromised", "Your cloud storage was compromised", "This is not a formal email", and "I have got two not really pleasant news for you" are some examples of sextortion emails. Deceptive letters can have a broad range of disguises and use various scam models.
Aside from phishing and other scams, spam campaigns are also used to proliferate malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptominers, etc.). Due to how widespread spam mail is, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails and messages.
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems 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 can manually enable editing/content (i.e., macro commands).
How to avoid installation of malware?
To avoid infecting the system through spam mail, it is advised against opening suspicious and irrelevant emails - especially any attachments or links present in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.
Malware is also spread via dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. It is important to download only from official/verified sources and activate/update programs with tools provided by legitimate developers.
To ensure device and user safety, it is crucial to have a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected threats. 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 "Reminder about your dirty deeds!" scam email letter:
Subject: Money Transfer Confirmation.
This email has nothing good for you. It is a reminder about your dirty deeds!
It has been around 4 months since your device that you use to access the internet, has been infected with spyware.
I have been tracking your online activities for a long time by now.
How it has become possible:
Approximately half a year ago there was a huge leak of personal data (mainly passwords and logins), including your email provider (*********).
Professional hackers have used this data in order to access the operating systems of potential victims (including you as well),
and installed special loaders that can be used to install absolutely anything to the infected devices.
I would like to point out that antivirus companies are struggling to deal with such spyware since long time ago,
because Trojan software codes keep continuously updating and hence, not allowing antiviruses to do anything.
Likewise, all that personal data has become available at the black market and I have purchased it to install my spyware and start checking out people's personal information,
hoping to find something interesting.
Some people had a lot of boring documents, some people have basic games, while others play casino... all those devices have been utilized by us in order to do cryptocurrency mining.
However, eventually I have stumbled upon something really special while checking your personal data!
You are truly a huge fan of watching kinky videos (it is easy to confirm by checking the activity log of your multimedia players and browser history).
I have been filtering out for some time the most shocking videos with you masturbating, while recording you via your device's camera and microphone.
As result, I have generated sample videos exposing the way you are pleasing yourself (in really impressive manners sometimes),
while the lower part of the screen plays the video that you were watching at that point of time.
I have managed to create a really nice collection for the past few months!
What do you think would happen, if those videos get shared to your colleagues, relatives and friends?
Taking in consideration the "specificity" of the videos you had been watching, the opinion of your friends about your personality will be changed once and for all.
I guess, you might have troubles with law due to certain videos from that collection...
But I don't want to get you in this kind of troubles, since I have no interest in that.
I simply want to get some money from you, since I have spent quite a significant amount of time and effort to get all this done!
Let's agree like this: 1550$ (USD) of bitcoin equivalent will be good enough for me! If you want to pay more - please, feel free!
My BTC wallet for your transaction is: 199ZxJd71PJkMjjTdQdh7ekmQ2amE1tVe6
It is really not that hard to purchase bitcoin and send it to my wallet. Based on the logs, I can say that you are not a stupid person and really known how to use the internet.
Frankly speaking, I can't imagine where else this kind of videos (with you masturbating) can be found.
Once I receive a notification of your transaction, I will immediately delete your kinky videos right away together with the porn that you were watching at that point of time.
Afterwards, I will completely forget about you - don't worry, you are not the only one like that!
By the way, you have no idea how many there are people around the globe that watch porn, while masturbating.
However, those guys don't watch such kinky videos with nasty models that your like to watch!!!
Likewise, regardless of everything mentioned above, there is no reason for you to panic!
Here are several simple rules for you to end it all in the most problem-free manner:
# You have 48 hours to complete the bitcoin transaction. If I don't receive any money from you after 48 hours,
then I will upload the videoclip exposing you to online resources and forward it to your entire contact list.
Even your closest relatives, colleagues and friends will receive an email or SMS from me.
You've got to complete everything necessary within the allocated time - I won't be waiting any longer that that!
# Timer will start automatically right after you open this email. Please note, that even though the email gets opened by somebody else, the timer will still start.
# There is no point to reply this email. The sender address has been generated - I have merely used a random address from the internet. All you need to do is pay.
# In case if you decide to find me - that is a bad idea, since I am using nodes, same as blockchain system, which are used to carry out bitcoin transactions.
# The idea to reinstall the Operating System would not help either. Even if you burn down your device, it still won't solve the problem.
All the files have already been encrypted and saved at remote file hosting websites.
# Once the transaction is complete, there is no need to notify me about that. I will be able to see it by myself, since I am monitoring all your online activities.
Please keep in mind the most important thing:
Once you complete the transaction, I will delete my Trojan virus from your device as well as all the discrediting videos from remote online resources.
Afterwards, you can forget about me and this unpleasant situation as well. That is the best solution to this problem!
One last advice for you: change all the access information to all your online services, since I may be not only one who has the access to all your accounts!
Please be reasonable.
Appearance of the "Reminder about your dirty deeds!" scam email (GIF):
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- What is Reminder About Your Dirty Deeds! 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.
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