Avoid getting scammed by fake "News That's Not Very Cheerful" emails

Also Known As: "News That's Not Very Cheerful" sextortion scam
Damage level: Medium

What kind of email is "News That's Not Very Cheerful"?

After reading the "News That's Not Very Cheerful" email, we determined that it is spam promoting a sextortion scam. It follows the classical format – claims of the sender infecting the recipient's device with malware, recording a sexually explicit video of them, and threatening to leak it unless a ransom is paid. It must be emphasized that all the information provided by this email is false.

News That's Not Very Cheerful email spam campaign

"News That's Not Very Cheerful" email scam overview

This spam email lists the date when the sender breached the recipient's device. Supposedly, the sender infected the system with malware and used it to spy.

The malicious software was utilized to extract the user's personal information. Additionally, they were recorded whilst visiting adult-oriented content. The recordings were edited into a video where on one side is the recipient engaging in sexual activity, and the other – displaying what they were watching at the time.

The letter states that after 48 hours, the footage will be sent to the recipient's contacts/friends on email, social media, and instant messaging platforms. The sender also threatens to leak their browsing history, log-in credentials, and other private data. To prevent this, the user must pay 1200 USD in Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Following payment, the malware will be removed, and the recording/data will be deleted. The recipient is alerted that they will be unable to contact or prosecute the sender. They are also warned against formatting or destroying the device, as the content held for ransom is already in the sender's possession.

As mentioned in the introduction, this email is a scam, and all the information in it is false. Hence, the recipient's devices were not infected, no data was obtained from their accounts/systems, and no recordings of them were made.

Victims of scam mail like "News That's Not Very Cheerful" experience financial loss. It is pertinent to mention that due to the practically untraceable nature of cryptocurrency transactions – they cannot be reversed, which means that victims cannot retrieve their funds.

Threat Summary:
Name "News That's Not Very Cheerful" sextortion scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Sender infected the recipient's device with malware and used it to steal data and record a compromising video of them.
Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address bc1qqqvz6nlzazfaj0u5uqv495425y2u4pjs63zam2 (Bitcoin)
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Monetary loss
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Sextortion spam campaign examples

We have examined thousands of spam emails; "You Are Now On The Radar Of An International Group Of Hackers", "I Compromised Your Operating System", and "Operating System Was Compromised Under My Direction" are merely a few examples of ones promoting sextortion scams.

Various schemes are facilitated through spam mail. Phishing campaigns are especially prevalent, and they primarily target the log-in credentials of online accounts, personally identifiable data, and finance-related information. Spam emails are also used to proliferate malware.

While the commonly held belief that this mail is full of mistakes is not untrue, it is not always the case. These letters can be competently made and even believably disguised as messages from legitimate companies, organizations, service providers, authorities, and other entities.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Cyber criminals often use spam campaigns to spread malware. Deceptive emails/messages can include infectious files as attachments or download links. The files can be documents (PDF, Microsoft Office, Microsoft OneNote, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), archives (RAR, ZIP, etc.), JavaScript, and so on.

Once a malicious file is opened – the infection chain is jumpstarted. Some formats need additional user interaction to trigger malware download/installation processes. For example, Microsoft Office files require users to enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content), while OneNote documents need them to click embedded links or files.

How to avoid installation of malware?

It is essential to be vigilant with incoming emails, DMs/PMs, SMSes, and other messages. We advise against opening attachments or links present in dubious/irrelevant mail, as they can be malicious.

It must be mentioned that malware is not proliferated only via spam mail. Therefore, we also advise being careful while browsing, as fraudulent and dangerous online content usually appears genuine and harmless.

Furthermore, all downloads must be made from official and verified sources. Another recommendation is to activate and update programs using functions/tools provided by legitimate developers, as illegal activation ("cracking") tools and third-party updaters can contain malware.

It is paramount for device integrity and user safety to have a dependable anti-virus installed and kept up-to-date. Security software must be used to perform regular system scans and to remove threats and issues. 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 "News That's Not Very Cheerful" spam email letter:

Subject: Access to your "-" device was obtained on 2/13/2024 2:49:54 PM....

Hey. I'm here to deliver some news that's not very cheerful.

2/13/2024 2:49:54 PM
- It has come to pass that on this date, I orchestrated a breach into your device's operating system, granting myself total access to your account. My observation of your online endeavors has been ongoing and unwavering.
I've inserted a virus into your system, which allows me to commandeer your devices' controls, including the display and video camera. All your data is now mirrored on my servers.

What if we took this data and did something unexpected with it? Picture a video where one part is you doing masturbate and the other part is your online world. It's this blend of personal and digital that's the latest trend!
The result? Totally knocked my socks off.
A mere click stands between this video going viral among your contacts through email, social media, and instant messaging. Furthermore, I could divulge access to your personal communication platforms.

If you'd rather I abstain, transfer 1200$ (American dollars) directly to my Bitcoin wallet.
My BTC address:


If you're having difficulties with adding funds to your Bitcoin wallet, I suggest using Google. It's really quite simple.
Upon receiving the funds, I will immediately remove all unwanted material. Afterward, we can part ways. I assure you that I am committed to deactivating and removing all malware from your devices. You can trust me; I always honor my commitments. This is a fair deal, especially considering the time and effort I've invested in tracking your profile and traffic.

You are required to make the payment within 48 hours of opening this letter.
After this period, if I don't receive the specified amount from you, I'll distribute access to your accounts, visited sites, personal data, and edited videos to everyone, without any warning.

Remember.I do not make mistakes, I do not advise you to joke with me, I have many opportunities.
There's no use reporting me because they won't be able to locate me. Formatting the drive or destroying your device won't help because I already possess your data.
Writing back is meaningless, given that I don't operate from a personal email and won't be perusing responses.

Good luck, and don't let this upset you!
P.S. As a word of advice for the future, always follow online safety protocols and refrain from visiting sketchy sites.

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

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, even if they include details relevant to the recipients. This information can be acquired from publicly available sources or through phishing scams. Cyber criminals typically send out this mail in massive operations – therefore, thousands of users receive identical (or incredibly similar) messages.

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

No, all the claims made by sextortion scam emails are false. Therefore, the sender has not infected your devices, obtained your data, or made compromising recordings.

How did cyber criminals get my email password?

Your email password was most likely acquired through a phishing scam (e.g., fake email sign-in pages, verification/authentication processes, registration forms, etc.). It is less likely for this data to have been obtained through a breach on your end, and the least likely scenario would be a compromise on a service provider's end.

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

No, cryptocurrency transactions cannot be reversed due to their nearly untraceable nature.

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

If you have provided your log-in credentials – immediately change the passwords of all possibly exposed accounts and inform their official support. And if the disclosed information was of a different personal nature (e.g., ID card details, passport photos/scans, credit card numbers, etc.) – contact relevant authorities without delay.

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

No, just reading an email will not trigger any malware download/installation processes. Devices are infected when malicious attachments or links are opened/clicked.

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

Whether your device was infected might depend on the format of the opened file. If it was an executable (.exe, .run, etc.) – most likely, yes – since these files cause infections almost without fail. However, you might have avoided compromising the system if it was a document (.doc, .xls, .pdf, etc.). These formats can require additional actions to begin downloading/installing malware (e.g., enabling macro commands, clicking embedded content, etc.).

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections present in email attachments?

Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to scan devices and eliminate all kinds of threats. It is capable of removing most of the known malware infections. Keep in mind that since sophisticated malicious programs usually hide deep within systems – performing a complete system scan is essential.

▼ Show Discussion

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
News That's Not Very Cheerful sextortion scam QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of "News That's Not Very Cheerful" sextortion scam on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.