In brief

  • A Bitcoin sextortion scam has claimed another victim, and raked in $115,000 in total.
  • Sextortionists hold targets at ransom, claiming they have sensitive imagery of them performing sexual acts.
  • Usually, the claims are false.

Some poor sap just fell prey to a popular Bitcoin sextortion scam. 

The victim yesterday sent 0.15 Bitcoin to the scammer, or $1,744. The scam, which has been operational since 2015, has now racked up $114,649 from 203 payments, the average of which is $564. 

The scam was picked up by Scam Alert, a Twitter bot run by Whale Alert that posts each time crypto users have lined the wallets of well-known crypto scammers. Sextortion scammers send their targets emails claiming that they’ve filmed them fondling their most sensitive externalities and will release the information to the world unless they pay them a princely sum.

“To back up their claim, scammers often include personal information and a password used by the victim, obtained from data leaks available on the dark web,” Scam Alert said in its report. The sextortion emails we receive usually contain “Decrypt4Eva123,” for example.

Sextortion scams are nothing new. Cyber security firm Check Point tracked one of these scams for months last year. It found that the scammers were using a decade-old spam bot called Phorphiex. The bot wedged itself in other people’s machines through malware. Infected computers can send 30,000 emails in an hour, and the report estimates that a single campaign can reach 27 million people.

But these sextortion scams, salacious though they may be, aren’t the biggest scams around. Not by a long shot. According to Scam Alert, the most popular scam in the past month is Ponzi scheme Amfeix, which described itself as “a seamless and secure full-reserve investment bank built on decentralized encrypted ledgers.”

The Amfeix scheme works by getting people to put Bitcoin into its fund, which it promises to reinvest and score high profits. Currently, “We have been carrying out some essential work on the portal, and as a result, you will not be able to access the portal on a temporary basis.” It has conned users out of $56,739,701, according to Scam Alert, since April 2019.