Avoid getting scammed by the "I Know That You Cheat On Your Partner" email

Also Known As: I Know That You Cheat On Your Partner sextortion email
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "I Know That You Cheat On Your Partner"?

Our inspection of the "I Know That You Cheat On Your Partner" email revealed that it is spam, which operates as a variation of the sextortion scam. The scammers behind this spam campaign claim to have proof of the recipients' infidelity and threaten to leak it - unless they pay a ransom.

It must be emphasized that none of the claims made by this email are true - hence, it poses no threats to anyone who has received it.

I Know That You Cheat On Your Partner email spam campaign

"I Know That You Cheat On Your Partner" email scam overview

The email with the subject "New payment !" (may vary) informs the recipient that the sender has been watching them for some time. This stealthy observation has led them to discover that the recipient is cheating on their partner.

Video evidence of the infidelity will be made public - unless the recipient pays 580 USD in Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Two days (48 hours), counting from when the email was opened, are given to make the payment. Once the deadline passes, the footage will be leaked.

As mentioned in the introduction, all the claims made by this letter are false. Therefore, no video featuring the recipient exists, and the scammers behind this mail are claiming such - to trick victims into paying.

It is pertinent to mention that due to the nature of cryptocurrency transactions, they are virtually untraceable and irreversible. Hence, victims who have already paid will be unable to retrieve their funds.

Threat Summary:
Name I Know That You Cheat On Your Partner sextortion email
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud, Sextortion
Fake Claim Sender has footage of the recipient's infidelity and will leak it unless a ransom is paid.
Ransom Amount 580 USD in Bitcoin cryptocurrency
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Addresses bc1quv2l07cec2pluq6qgpv95fu990mjlm7ljqksky (Bitcoin), bc1q444vm07qcwqyd3ytrnmp2hyklc3kq97qlvgvxl (Bitcoin)
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Monetary loss, potential loss of sensitive private information.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Sextortion spam campaign examples

We have analyzed countless spam letters; "Some Bad News That You Are About To Hear", "I Regret To Inform You About Some Sad News For You", and "I am a Russian hacker who has access to your operating system" are just a few examples of sextortion scam emails.

This mail uses a wide variety of scam models and disguises (e.g., messages from legitimate companies, organizations, institutions, etc.). In addition to various scams, spam emails are also used to proliferate trojans, ransomware, and other malware.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Spam emails can contain malicious files as attachments or download links. These files can be Microsoft Office and PDF documents, archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), JavaScript, and so on.

Once a virulent file is executed, run, or otherwise opened - the infection process is triggered. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect devices by executing malicious macro commands.

How to avoid installation of malware?

We strongly recommend exercising caution with incoming mail. The attachments and links found in dubious/irrelevant emails and messages - must not be opened as that can result in a system infection. Additionally, it is important to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010 since they have the "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic macro command execution.

However, malware is proliferated using various methods. Therefore, we also advise downloading from official/verified channels and activating/updating software with legitimate tools (as illegal activation tools ["cracks"] and third-party updaters may contain malicious programs).

Another recommendation is to be vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content usually appears harmless.

We must stress the importance of having a reputable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. This software must 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 That You Cheat On Your Partner" email letter:

Subject: New payment !

Hello -!

For some time now, I have been watching you
I know that you cheat on your partner.Its not my business, but i could make you loose everything if you fail to follow my instructions

All you have to do to prevent this from happening is - transfer bitcoins worth $580 (USD) to my Bitcoin address (if you have no idea how to do this, you can open your browser and simply search: "Buy Bitcoin").

My bitcoin addresses  (USE ANY OF THE BTC Wallets) :

BTC : bc1quv2l07cec2pluq6qgpv95fu990mjlm7ljqksky

BTC: bc1q444vm07qcwqyd3ytrnmp2hyklc3kq97qlvgvxl

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.

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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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing 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.

Email-virus icon 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.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

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:

Example of an email spam

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Spam emails are not personal. Thousands of users receive identical letters.

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

No, all the claims made by the "I Know That You Cheat On Your Partner" email are false. Hence, the scammers do not have any compromising recordings, and all their threats are empty.

How did cyber criminals get my email password?

Cyber criminals could have obtained your email credentials through a data breach. Although it is far more likely that the password was acquired through a phishing scam you've fallen victim to. It could have been a fake email account login webpage, a bogus platform/service registration form, and so on.

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

Cryptocurrency transactions are practically untraceable, which means that they are impossible to reverse. Hence, you won't be able to retrieve your funds.

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

If you've disclosed account credentials - change the passwords of all possibly compromised accounts and inform their official support without delay. And if you have provided other personal data (e.g., ID card details, credit card numbers, etc.) - immediately contact the relevant authorities.

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

No, merely opening a spam email will not initiate any system infection processes. Malware download/installation is triggered when the attachments or links present in this mail are opened/clicked.

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

If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) - most likely, yes - your device was infected. However, you might have avoided it if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.). These formats may require additional user interaction (e.g., enabling macro commands) to begin downloading/installing malware.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and remove threats. It is capable of eliminating nearly all known malware infections. It is noteworthy that running a complete system scan is paramount - as sophisticated malicious programs usually hide deep within systems.

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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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