virus

Sextortion Email Scam


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Sextortion email scams are a popular way for hackers to extort money from unsuspecting web users. If you are reading this page, you have most probably received a strange email message from a self-proclaimed hacker who claims to have compromised your computer through a Trojan Horse thus obtaining embarrassing photos and videos of you. This is known as a sextortion email scam and recently there’s been a new wave of these emails all over the Internet. Notable examples of Sextortion Email Scams are the Save Yourself Email Scam and Drive By exploit email malware .

What is a Sextortion email?

A sextortion email is a particularly unpleasant email BitCoin scam. The sextortion email’s purpose is to threaten and intimidate the victims so they would pay a ransom to stop the blackmailers from releasing compromising content.

Sextortion email examples:

Sextortion Email

Sextortion Email Scam

The online crooks behind the sextortion email usually send a message where they state that, with the help of a Trojan Horse hidden inside the machine, they have accessed some sensitive personal information, mostly images and videos related to nudity and porn, your email passwords, etc. The blackmailers threaten to distribute that information everywhere online, including to your contacts list and social media, if you don’t pay a certain amount of money to their BitCoin wallet within a given deadline. The good news is that receiving sextortion email messages does not automatically mean you have been infected with a Trojan Horse or another malware. In most cases, such messages are just a bluff, created to scare the web users into sending money to the extortionists.

How does the Sextortion scam work?

A sextortion scam is an email hoax which has been around the web since the middle of 2018. The sextortion scam’s creators would use different tricks to panic the receivers of the sextortion message into believing their device has been compromised by a malware.

Sextortion scam reports:

Sextortion Scam

Examples of a sextortion scam

Criminals would often try tricking you into thinking they have obtained your real password or have hacked inside your webcam or mic via a hidden malware. They might even show you your old password or other personal information. Such tricks, however, are not solid proof that your machine has really been infected nor compromised. In most cases, the “hackers” don’t have any videos, photos or other compromising materials. They simply use information they’ve gathered from online data breaches or other accidental personal information leaks to scare you. Users who do their research quickly realize that this is a hoax and they don’t need to believe the email or send money to anyone.

Yet, sometimes, such emails may indeed be a result of a hidden infection such as a Trojan Horse. Therefore, even though there generally is no need to stress too much about the sextortion emails, it is a good idea to use a professional security tool and scan your computer. The guide below and the attached removal tool will help you check your system for hidden threats and remove them if there are any. It is also advisable to change your email’s password as an extra safety measure.

SUMMARY:

Name Sextortion Email
Type Trojan
Danger Level  High (Trojans are often used as a backdoor for Ransomware) or Low (If You don’t really have a Trojan)
Symptoms Threatening emails.
Distribution Method  Email messages.
Detection Tool

Remove Sextortion Email Scam Trojan

If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.

If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.

If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide


Step1

Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

Step2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 

malware-start-taskbar

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/




Scan Results


Virus Scanner Result
ClamAV
AVG AV
Maldet


After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 

Step3

Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.

appwiz

You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them. If you see a screen like this when you click Uninstall, choose NO:

virus-removal1

Step4

Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:

msconfig_opt

Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.

  • Remember this step – if you have reason to believe a bigger threat (like ransomware) is on your PC, check everything here.

Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

hosts_opt (1)

If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

Step5

Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

Once inside, press CTRL and F together and type the virus’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


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