Identity Theft and Fraud

Last week, I was blackmailed

Posted:  Monday, December 3, 2018 - 12:45pm
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There’s no other way to say it and I’m sharing the experience so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

The day after Thanksgiving, I checked my email as I do most mornings. As I scanned the list of messages waiting to be opened, one of the sender addresses caught my eye.

It was from my own email address! I don’t think I’ve ever sent myself an email, so seeing incoming mail from my address was strange. Curious, I read the contents using the preview pane.

“Hello!” the message began. “I'm is very good coder. I am known by my nickname yul93. I hacked this mailbox more than six months ago, through it I infected your operating system with a virus (trojan) created by me and have been spying for you a very long time.”

This is unbelievable! I thought. Yul93 read my thoughts. “I understand it is hard to believe, but you can check it yourself. I'm sent this e-mail from your account,” his message continued.

I also realized that while Yul93 may be a good coder, his language skills leave a bit to be desired.

And then he got down to business: “I have access to all your accounts, social networks, email, browsing history. Accordingly, I have the data of all your contacts, files from your computer, photos and videos.”

Wow, I thought. So Yul93 saw the pictures of our July 4 barbecue and of last Christmas when my family came to visit! But there was more.

“I was most struck by the intimate content sites that you occasionally visit. You have a very wild imagination, I tell you! During your pastime and entertainment there, I took screenshot through the camera of your device, synchronizing with what you are watching. Oh my god! You are so funny and excited!”

Huh?

“I think that you do not want all your contacts to get these files, right? If you are of the same opinion, then I think that $606 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created. Send the above amount on my BTC wallet (bitcoin): 19kXyFbvetft819v4QV5g9vzrjwNqRtvgA.

“As soon as the above amount is received, I guarantee that the data will be deleted, I do not need it. Otherwise, these files and history of visiting sites will get all your contacts from your device. Also, I'll send to everyone your contact access to your email and access logs, I have carefully saved it!”

Okay Yul93, this is where you need to go back to coding. I really don’t think that all of my contacts would care that I visited Amazon and purchased Fur Goodness Sake Cat Nail Clippers or a Proctor Silex Plus 76370P Extra-Tall Can Opener, White, or Epson DURABrite XL T127120 Ultra 127 Extra High-capacity Inkjet Cartridge-Black.

Besides, how exactly would I purchase 15 percent of one Bitcoin which is currently valued at $4,143.01?

 I was given 48 hours to deliver the Bitcoin “goods.” After sounding a bit parental: “I hope I taught you a good lesson,” his email ended on a cordial note: “Good luck!” he wished.

Well, the deadline came and went and no further word from Yul93.

I called my internet service provider to inquire if Yul93 might actually have my account information and was told to “Consider it a scam unless the sender uses your actual password in the email message.”

Who knows? I think I may have dodged a bullet and am glad that the folks on my contacts list were spared the boredom of my internet travels. In the future, I guess for this to work correctly either Yul93 will need to be a little more savvy or I’ll need to become a more exciting person.