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How to recognize sextortion scams like This is the last reminder scam?

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is This is the last reminder email scam?

Scammers behind this email claim to have hacked into a computer and recorded recipients watching pornography. Their goal is to trick recipients into transferring money for not sending the recorded video to other people.

This is the last reminder email scam email spam campaign

This is the last reminder sextortion email scam in detail

Scammers claim that they have hacked a computer and copied all data from it to their server. They also claim to have recorded a video while recipients were watching pornography. Their goal is to trick recipients into believing that they will send the recorded to all contacts in their phone, email accounts, and social media networks.

Scammers ask to pay $1400 in Bitcoins to the provided BTC wallet for not spreading the recorded video. They encourage recipients to make the payment in 50 hours. Recipients should ignore this email: a computer has not been hacked, and scammers have not recorded any compromising video.

Threat Summary:
Name This Is The Last Reminder Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scammers have hacked a computer and recorded a compromising video
Ransom Size $1400
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address bc1qpgl99ryh4c8gtjaa9tgcccr486p4thv7mg8skp (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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Sextortion email scams in general

Scammers behind sextortion scams claim to have recorded a compromising video and threaten to spread it if recipients do not pay them a certain amount of money (usually, in Bitcoins). More examples of similar emails are "Reminder About Your Dirty Deeds!", "Your Device Was Compromised", and "I Have Got Two Not Really Pleasant News For You".

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Cybercriminals can use email to deliver malware. In such cases, they pretend to be legitimate companies or other entities and encourage recipients to open the email attachment or download and open a file via the provided website link. Recipients infect computers when they open a malicious file.

Usually, cybercriminals use Microsoft Office documents, archive files, JavaScript files, PDF documents, or executable files to trick recipients into infecting their computers via email. Malicious documents opened with MS Office 2010 and later do not install malware unless users enable macros commands (editing or content) in them.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Recipients should not open files and website links in irrelevant emails received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Programs (and files) should be downloaded only from official, trustworthy websites and via direct links.

All installed software must be updated and activated with tools (or functions) that its official software developers have designed. A computer should be scanned for threats regularly. It should be done with a reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software.

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 This is the last reminder email scam (GIF):

this is the last reminder email scam appearance in gif image

Text presented in this sextortion email scam:

Subject: Warning!


Hi,

This is the last reminder.

Your system has been hacked.
All the data from your device were copied to our servers.
Besides, a video was recorded from your camera while you were watching porn.

My virus infected your device via an adult website that you visited recently.

If you don’t know how that works, I will provide the details.
The trojan virus provides me full access, as well as control of the device you are using.
As a result, I can see your screen, turn on the camera and microphone while you won’t know about it.

I captured a video from your screen and the camera of the device. I edited a video wherein one part of the screen there is a video of you masturbating and in the other a pornographic video that you opened at that time.

I can see all the contacts from your phone and all of your social networks.
At one moment, I can send this video to all the contacts on your phone, email, and social networks.
Moreover, I can also send your email and messenger data to everybody.

I can destroy your reputation forever.


If you want to avoid this, then:
Send 1400 USD (USA dollars) to my bitcoin wallet
(if you don’t know how to do that, search “buy bitcoin” using Google).

My BTC wallet: bc1qpgl99ryh4c8gtjaa9tgcccr486p4thv7mg8skp

As soon as I receive the payment, I will destroy your video and guarantee not to disturb you ever again.
You have 50 hours (a little more than 2 days) to complete this payment.
I receive an automatic notification that this email has been read. Likewise, the timer will automatically start after you read the current email.

Don’t try to complain anywhere since the wallet cannot be tracked in any way; the email from which this mail came is also can’t be tracked and is created automatically, so there is no point in replying to me.
If you try to share this letter with anyone, the system will automatically send a request to the servers, and servers will start sending all of the data to the social networks.
Changing passwords in social networks, email, devices won’t help since all the data has already been downloaded to my servers’ cluster.

I wish you good luck and don’t do anything stupid. Think about your reputation.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Scammers send identical emails to thousands of recipients hoping that at least some of them will fall for their scam. Sextortion and other email scams are never personal.

Was my computer actually hacked and does the sender have any information?

No, your computer was not actually hacked (or infected). Scammers claim to have hacked computers only to scare recipients into paying money.

I have sent cryptocurrency to the address presented in this sextorion email scam, can I get my money back?

No, cryptocurrency transactions are virtually untraceable. Therefore, it is not possible to get transferred Bitcoins back.

Can Combo Cleaner remove infections that are present in emails used to deliver malicious software?

Yes, Combo Cleaner can detect and eliminate almost all known malware infections. More often than not, high-end malware hides deep in the operating system. It means that the infected computer has to be scanned using a full system scan.

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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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