Email Scam Claims To Have Your Passwords, Compromising Videos

Jul 30, 2018, 7:48 PM | Updated: 10:50 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Investigators have been warning Utahns not to fall for a sophisticated email ruse that displays the recipient’s correct usernames and passwords before demanding money in exchange for not releasing embarrassing videos.

“A login and a password that you commonly use for everything—that might get your attention right away,” said Sgt. Jeff Plank with the Utah Department of Public Safety’s cybercrime unit.

So far, Utah’s Statewide Information and Analysis Center, or SIAC, has received about 30 complaints about the new spear-phishing emails that appear to originate from addresses with an outlook.com domain.

“They’re trying to scare people into thinking that they could be embarrassed greatly,” said Sgt. Plank, who is also a member of the FBI Cyber Task Force.

The emails, which include correct login information in the subject line, quickly get to the point of threatening to distribute compromising videos and Internet browsing activity if a bitcoin payment isn’t received within a few days.

“I won’t beat around the bush,” begins one of the emails. “I am aware (redacted) is your password. Most importantly, I know your secret and I have proof of it.”

The emails go on to say that the scammers got control of the recipient’s computer, and then tracked them as they visited adult websites while simultaneously recording them through their computer’s webcam.

Without the required bitcoin payment—that ranges from $1,000 to $7,000—the author of the email promises to release the video to “family, coworkers and many others” and reminds of “the humiliation you and your family will face when relatives and buddies find out your unpleasant video from me in their inbox.”

Investigators with SIAC said it’s “highly unlikely” that the sender of the emails actually installed malware on the victims’ computers and recorded any video. As for the correct email passwords, it’s likely they were obtained from the many high-profile data breaches that have happened in recent years.

“Not many people realize that their logins and passwords have been compromised,” Sgt. Plank said, adding that it’s a good reminder to change passwords frequently.

Those who have received similar emails are asked to submit a cybercrime tip at siac.utah.gov.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

A Utah Highway Patrol car that was hit by a speeding car. (Credit: UHP)...
Lauren Steinbrecher

UHP dash cam shows distracted driver plowing into patrol car, hurting trooper

New dash camera video shows the scary moments a distracted driver slammed into a Utah Highway Patrol car on I-215 Tuesday, injuring the trooper and others. 
23 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)...
Debbie Worthen

SLC replaces fireworks with laser light displays for July holidays

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City residents will get a different light display for the Independence and Pioneer day weekends. For the first time ever, the city will replace the highly-popular fireworks shows with laser light displays. “Earlier this year our City Council voted to shift our traditional display budget to an alternative event,” […]
23 hours ago
File photo of a Unified Police Department squad vehicle. (KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

Kearns shelter in place lifted, suspect in custody

A shelter in place has been lifted after it was issued around 7 p.m. while police searched for an armed teen.
23 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Memento of slain son stolen from car, heartbroken mom wants it back

The stuffed elephant, that she slept with every night, is the only toy of her son's she has left.
23 hours ago
The McFarland family farm in Weber County is dealing with rising costs for fuel, chemicals and mate...
Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Weber County family farm fights through herbicide shortages, drought, rising costs

A shortage of chemicals found in herbicides is putting even more rising costs on the backs of Utah farmers, in an already difficult year.
23 hours ago
LGBTQ teens at an Encircle activity....
Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Parents’ support key to mental health among LGBTQ+ youth, experts say

Nearly 20 percent of adults in the U.S. live with a mental health condition. In the LGBTQ+ community, that number is three times higher. Experts say family support is crucial to an adolescents’ mental health.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Email Scam Claims To Have Your Passwords, Compromising Videos