Do not trust the "I know you are cheating on your partner" emails
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is "I know you are cheating on your partner Email Scam"?
"I know you are cheating on your partner Email Scam" is a spam campaign - a mass-scale operation during which deceptive emails are sent by the thousand. The letters distributed through this campaign use a variation of the sextortion scam model.
These emails claim that the recipient is cheating on their partner, and evidence of their infidelity will be publicized - unless a ransom is paid. It must be emphasized that all of the claims made by the "I know you are cheating on your partner" letters are false; therefore, these messages must be ignored.
"I know you are cheating on your partner" email in detail
The "I know you are cheating on your partner" scam emails inform the recipient that the sender is aware of their infidelity. The letters state that a ransom of 100 USD worth of Bitcoin cryptocurrency must be paid - else the video evidence will be leaked. The payment must be made within 48 hours.
Once the payment is verified, the hoax letters reassure that the fake video will be deleted immediately. The emails also claim that filing complaints or taking similar actions will not yield any results, as the sender's email and cryptowallet addresses are supposedly untraceable. The letters warn that if the recipient shares them with someone else, the nonexistent video will be publicized.
By trusting the "I know you are cheating on your partner" letters, users will experience a financial loss. However, all of the information provided by these scam emails - is false. No recordings of the recipient exist, and all of the threats made by these letters are empty.
|Name||I know you are cheating on your partner Email Scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud|
|Fake Claim||Scam emails claim that there is evidence of the recipient's infidelity, which will be publicized - unless a ransom is paid.|
|Ransom Amount||100 USD in Bitcoin cryptocurrency|
|Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address||14VQEwhVgrPdngfWrrMvMBaK8bXDS1vnmr (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
"Reminder about your dirty deeds!", "I have e-mailed you from your account", "Your cloud storage was compromised", and "This is not a formal email" are some examples of sextortion spam campaigns. The letters sent through these massive operations use various scam models; they are often presented as "official", "urgent", and so on.
Aside from phishing and other scams, spam emails 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?
When infectious files are opened - the infection chain is initiated. 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. Newer versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users can manually enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content).
How to avoid installation of malware?
To avoid infecting the system via spam mail, it is expressly advised against opening suspicious and irrelevant emails - especially any attachments or links found in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.
Malware is also spread through dubious download channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Therefore, 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 reputable anti-virus installed and 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 "I know you are cheating on your partner" scam email letter:
Its so shameful how people cant be satisfied. I know you are cheating on your partner,
To avoid loosing all kindly send 100$ worth of bitcoin to this [Bitcoin-wallet] :14VQEwhVgrPdngfWrrMvMBaK8bXDS1vnmr
If you fail to do this i will expose you .
After receiving a confirmation of your payment, I will delete the video right away, and that's it, you will never hear from me again.
You have 2 days (48 hours) to complete this transaction.
Once you open this e-mail, I will receive a notification, and my timer will start ticking 8/23/2021 12:43:32 a.m.
Any attempt to file a complaint will not result in anything, since this e-mail cannot be traced back, same as my bitcoin id.
I have been working on this for a very long time by now; I do not give any chance for a mistake.
If, by any chance I find out that you have shared this message with anybody else, I will broadcast your video as mentioned above
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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:
- What is I Know You Are Cheating On Your Partner 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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