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Do not trust the "I know you are cheating on your partner" emails

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

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 spam campaign

"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.

Threat Summary:
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)

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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?

Systems are infected via malicious files distributed through spam campaigns. These files are attached to the emails, or the letters contain download links of infectious content. Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, and so forth.

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

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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