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Ransomware email - Real or phisher mail?

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This is my first use of the support forum.   I am not a sophisticated user, so I apologize in advance if I have violated any forum protocols or user rules.

I rec'd a ransomware email today which I think is BS, but would appreciate assistance with how to detect if this is a real threat or a phishing attempt for bitcoins.  My suspicions are raised because I do not have a camera in use as my laptop is always closed, and also has a movable lens cover, also closed.  There is no external camera, only a 23"  display.    I have a speaker system and use it's external jack for webinar audio and VOIP calls. 

I rec'd a similar threat like this two years ago but there was no time delay in the ransom demand.  At that time I did not have MalBytes software.   I did a system restore and did not have any repercussions.  Due to a hard drive failure I have since replaced that computer with my current laptop:  Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 6-14IKB.   

I have Norton, I use CCleaner after all internet sessions, and MalwareBytes runs daily with update checks every 4 hours.   MalwareBytes Threat Scan log shows nothing detected.  Is it possible there is a driver breach that is not being identified by MalwareBytes?   Lastly, after some recent Lenovo BIOS and Windows updates, I have noticed a command screen during startup that flickers by very quickly,  but I do not know how to capture this for further review.  

I have this original e-mail quarantined in my Spam file.....the message content is below......   Thank you in advance for your constructive guidance, comments or assistance.

From: papelucho@papelariapapelucho.com.br


I am a hacker who has access to your operating system.  I also have full access to your account.  I've been watching you for a few months now.

The fact is that you were infected with malware through a site that you visited.  If you are not familiar with this, I will explain.

Trojan Virus gives me full access and control over a computer or other device.  This means that I can see everything on your screen, turn on the camera and microphone, but you do not know about it.  I also have access to all your contacts and all your correspondence.

Why your antivirus did not detect malware?

Answer: My malware uses the driver, I update its signatures every 4 hours so that your antivirus is silent.

I made a video showing you in the left half of the screen, and in the right half you see the video that you watched.

With one click of the mouse, I can send this video to all your emails and contacts on social networks.

I can also post access to all your e-mail correspondence and messengers that you use.

If you want to prevent this, transfer the amount of $500 to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how to do this, write to Google: "Buy Bitcoin").

My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is:  3Lgb1jV4mFr4jDZD2tCxSMySLujRLJykRt

After receiving the payment, I will delete the video and you will never hear me again.

I give you 50 hours (more than 2 days) to pay.

I have a notice reading this letter, and the timer will work when you see this letter.

Filing a complaint somewhere does not make sense because this email cannot be tracked like my bitcoin address.

I do not make any mistakes.  If I find that you have shared this message with someone else, the video will be immediately distributed.


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  • Root Admin

This is a phishing scam. Please delete and ignore.



If you like we can scan your system for any current threats, but this itself is just a phishing scam trying to get money.


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In addition to what Ron has posted, please reference:
US FBI PSA - Extortionists Increasingly Using Recipients' Personal Information To Intimidate Victims
US FTC Consumer Information - How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam
MyOnlinesecurity - attempted-blackmail-scam-watching-porn
BleepingComputer - Beware of Extortion Scams Stating They Have Video of You on Adult Sites
Malwarebytes' Blog - Sextortion emails: They’re probably not watching you
Malwarebytes Forum sample thread - Got strange threating email.
Malwarebytes Forum FYI thread - FYI: Email Ransom Scam still current



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  • Root Admin

Glad we could help.

If you need this topic reopened, please send a Private Message to any one of the moderating team members. Please include a link to this topic with your request.

This applies only to the originator of this thread. Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread.



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