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Avoid getting scammed by "Unfortunately there are bad news" spam email

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is "Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you" email scam?

"Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you" is the name of a sextortion spam campaign. The emails sent through this campaign claim that the sender has made a sexually explicit video featuring the recipient, and this recording will be publicized - unless the ransom demands are met.

It must be emphasized that this is a scam; hence, no compromising videos of the recipient exist, and all the other claims made by these letters are false.

Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you email spam campaign

"Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you" email in detail

The "Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you" scam emails contain lengthy messages intended to trick the recipients into paying a ransom over a nonexistent video. The letters claim that the recipient's device was infected with malware several months ago, which allegedly allowed the sender access and control over the machine.

The emails state that the malware was used to record the recipient while they were visiting adult-oriented websites. Recipients are given two days to pay 1750 USD in Bitcoin cryptocurrency - else the explicit video will be shared with their contacts and leaked online.

As mentioned in the introduction, these emails are scams; they must simply be ignored as the letters pose no threat to the recipients.

Threat Summary:
Name Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim that there is a compromising video of the recipient in the sender's possession, and unless a ransom is paid - the recording will be publicized.
Ransom Amount 1750 USD in Bitcoin cryptocurrency
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address (Bitcoin) 17Ga9z9f3HFBafsmMq76NVsVX5r1CzxhaP, 1B5ic9iQpyafTEfWxHM4Xq6PkzbickrL8g, 13Hayv2eeuwHTcUNhZVeCJytdBQosoSwVq, 1FhTVkgUpVyWNRG8bJkgyJipEmoEtitZwd, 15KquhG7RGkyXvEVT1aXLgPt4qgBEVe8rN, 19PRxthVN1P9hsXcStqc2Kp8Yy4hXyXVau
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.
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Spam campaigns in general

"This is the last reminder", "I am a programmer and hacked your computer 3 months ago", "I have e-mailed you from your account", and "Your cloud storage was compromised" are a couple examples of sextortion spam campaigns.

Deceptive emails use various scam models to gain and abuse user trust, e.g., notifications concerning recipients' email or other online accounts (used for phishing log-in credentials), fake lotteries and inheritances, letters relating to payments and bills, and so forth. Aside from phishing and other scams, spam mail is also used to proliferate malware (e.g., ransomware, trojans, cryptocurrency miners, etc.).

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected via virulent files distributed as attachments or download links in spam emails. These files can be in various formats, e.g., Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives, executables, JavaScript, etc. When the files are opened - the infection chain is triggered.

For example, Microsoft Office documents execute malicious macro commands to infect systems. The process occurs the moment a document is opened in Microsoft Office versions released prior to 2010. This is prevented by the "Protected View" mode in later versions; instead, users can manually enable editing/content (i.e., macro commands). However, infectious documents may contain deceptive messages intended to lure users into enabling macros.

How to avoid installation of malware?

Suspect and irrelevant emails must not be opened, especially any attachments or links found in them. Additionally, it is advised 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 ("cracking") tools, and fake updates. Therefore, it is important to always download from official/verified sources and activate/update programs with tools provided by genuine developers.

It is paramount to have a dependable anti-virus installed and kept updated. This software has to be used to perform regular system scans and to remove 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 "Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you" scam email letter:

Subject: You have an outstanding payment.

 

Hello there!

 

Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you.
Around several months ago I have obtained access to your devices that you were using to browse internet.
Subsequently, I have proceeded with tracking down internet activities of yours.

 

Below, is the sequence of past events:
In the past, I have bought access from hackers to numerous email accounts (today, that is a very straightforward task that can be done online).
Clearly, I have effortlessly logged in to email account of yours (**********).

 

A week after that, I have managed to install Trojan virus to Operating Systems of all your devices that are used for email access.
Actually, that was quite simple (because you were clicking the links in inbox emails).
All smart things are quite straightforward. (>_<)

 

The software of mine allows me to access to all controllers in your devices, such as video camera, microphone and keyboard.
I have managed to download all your personal data, as well as web browsing history and photos to my servers.
I can access all messengers of yours, as well as emails, social networks, contacts list and even chat history.
My virus unceasingly refreshes its signatures (since it is driver-based), and hereby stays invisible for your antivirus.

 

So, by now you should already understand the reason why I remained unnoticed until this very moment...

 

While collecting your information, I have found out that you are also a huge fan of websites for adults.
You truly enjoy checking out porn websites and watching dirty videos, while having a lot of kinky fun.
I have recorded several kinky scenes of yours and montaged some videos, where you reach orgasms while passionately masturbating.

 

If you still doubt my serious intentions, it only takes couple mouse clicks to share your videos with your friends, relatives and even colleagues.
It is also not a problem for me to allow those vids for access of public as well.
I truly believe, you would not want this to occur, understanding how special are the videos you love watching, (you are clearly aware of that) all that stuff can result in a real disaster for you.

 

Let's resolve it like this:
All you need is $1750 USD transfer to my account (bitcoin equivalent based on exchange rate during your transfer), and after the transaction is successful, I will proceed to delete all that kinky stuff without delay.
Afterwards, we can pretend that we have never met before. In addition, I assure you that all the harmful software will be deleted from all your devices. Be sure, I keep my promises.

 

That is quite a fair deal with a low price, bearing in mind that I have spent a lot of effort to go through your profile and traffic for a long period.
If you are unaware how to buy and send bitcoins - it can be easily fixed by searching all related information online.

 

Below is bitcoin wallet of mine: 17Ga9z9f3HFBafsmMq76NVsVX5r1CzxhaP, 1B5ic9iQpyafTEfWxHM4Xq6PkzbickrL8g, 13Hayv2eeuwHTcUNhZVeCJytdBQosoSwVq, 1FhTVkgUpVyWNRG8bJkgyJipEmoEtitZwd, 15KquhG7RGkyXvEVT1aXLgPt4qgBEVe8rN, 19PRxthVN1P9hsXcStqc2Kp8Yy4hXyXVau

 

You are given not more than 48 hours after you have opened this email (2 days to be precise).

 

Below is the list of actions that you should not attempt doing:
> Do not attempt to reply my email (the email in your inbox was created by me together with return address).
> Do not attempt to call police or any other security services. Moreover, don't even think to share this with friends of yours. Once I find that out (make no doubt about it, I can do that effortlessly, bearing in mind that I have full control over all your systems) - the video of yours will become available to public immediately.
> Do not attempt to search for me - there is completely no point in that. All cryptocurrency transactions remain anonymous at all times.
> Do not attempt reinstalling the OS on devices of yours or get rid of them. It is meaningless too, because all your videos are already available at remote servers.

 

Below is the list of things you don't need to be concerned about:
> That I will not receive the money you transferred.
- Don't you worry, I can still track it, after the transaction is successfully completed, because I still monitor all your activities (trojan virus of mine includes a remote-control option, just like TeamViewer).
> That I still will make your videos available to public after your money transfer is complete.
- Believe me, it is meaningless for me to keep on making your life complicated. If I indeed wanted to make it happen, it would happen long time ago!

 

Everything will be carried out based on fairness!

 

Before I forget...moving forward try not to get involved in this kind of situations anymore!
An advice from me - regularly change all the passwords to your accounts.

Appearance of the "Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you" scam email (GIF):

Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you scam email appearance (GIF)

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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Quick menu:

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?

Spam emails are sent by the thousand with the hopes that someone will fall for them; they are not personal.

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

No, the "Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you" email is a scam, and none of its claims are true. That means that no videos of you exist in the scammer's possession, nor are your devices infected.

How did cyber criminals get my email password?

If you've received spam emails from your own email account, it is likely that you have fallen victim to a phishing scam at some point. Scams of this type operate by tricking victims to sign into their accounts (e.g., emails) through phishing sites or files disguised as log-in pages. Alternatively, cyber criminals may have gained your log-in credentials through a data breach.

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

No, as cryptocurrency transactions are practically untraceable and irreversible.

I have provided my personal information when tricked by a spam email, what should I do?

If you've provided account log-in credentials - immediately change the passwords of all potentially compromised accounts and contact their official support. If the disclosed information was of a different nature (e.g., ID card information, credit card numbers, etc.) - contact the appropriate authorities without delay.

I have read a spam email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

No, opening and reading spam emails will not result in a system infection. However, opening any attachments or clicking the links present in such letters - can trigger malware download/installation.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to a spam email, is my computer infected?

Whether your system is infected - depends on the file's type. If the opened file was an executable - then, most likely, yes. However, you may have avoided jumpstarting a system infection if the file was a document (e.g., .doc, .pdf, etc.), since these files may require additional actions to begin infection processes.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is able to detect and eliminate nearly all known malware infections. Note that it is crucial to perform a full system scan since high-end malicious software tends to hide deep within the infected system.

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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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