Hello, I work as a Private Investigator is a new Bitcoin Email Scam that has been spreading on the Internet recently. Many people around the world have received similar email letters and reported about them on Reddit, other websites and public forums.
Scammers use threats to get a ransom from the recipients of the emails. Despite the fact that these email messages are very suspicious, and most people simply delete them, scammers hope that at least a few recipients will be naive enough and pay a ransom.
There are variations in the wording of the email body, but all of these messages are basically the same. Below is one of the scam variants that are slightly different from each other.
Personal notes on information request
Hello, I work as a Private Investigator.
Our agency received a case with an objective of hacking into your email, phone, cloud storage, network and collecting intelligence.
We work with hackers from China for tasks like that, and they are the best. As you can see, they did a good job. Your accounts and devices are compromised.
But we do have an ethical protocol in place.
After checking the background of the person who paid for the hacking and investigation on you, I have decided to come forward and offer you to buy the information about that person (name, contacts, emails and other proof).
You will also get a report on yourself (including a list of compromised accounts, devices, logs, screenshots, photos and documents).
Normally, we do not disclose sensitive information about our clients, but in this case we will be.
Upon reviewing this case, I found that something illegal was planned against you.
The materials we have collected on you are very sensitive and can be easily used to blackmail you.
We usually address personal and corporate espionage cases, but this case is different.
We have received a prepayment of 50% for your case from that person (total agreed upon cost was 12500 USD).
However, I will give you a discount (without any profit for the agency), if you decide to buy this information.
Do not try to email me back. This is a throwaway address. I have to protect identity, because the nature of this job is illegal.
After I get the payment, I will get back to you. You have 2 business days to make the transfer. It will cost you 40% of the unpaid balance.
We will process $2,500 payment through bitcoin. In case you have trouble with bitcoin, google how to fund it.
Send BTC to this wallet 1yjQZMv2gQdpiMctyYk3vNRKbZiyGVN3t
It will be up to you what to do after you get the information. We will delete all files. The original client will get nothing and will never know about our deal.
Please keep in mind, because I need to pay Chinese contractors, and if you decline this offer, I will have to go to the original client and send all intel to cover the costs.
But at least you know that now and have a free heads up of what’s coming.
What is Bitcoin email scam
Bitcoin email scam is old extortion scheme – which try to guilt people into paying off someone claiming to have secretly recorded video or compromising information. Scammers uses the database of emails to sent this email scam out to millions of people around the World. The messages are sent to email addresses exposed in previous known data breaches in which the user database (email address and/or password) was indexed online.
Should you pay?
The best advice is: Don’t pay the ransom! If you receive the blackmail scam, just ignore the scammers’ empty threats. The best way to deal with the scam email is simply to move it to trash!
|Name||Hello, I work as a Private Investigator. EMAIL SCAM|
|Type||Phishing, Bitcoin Email Scam, Fraud, Scam|
|Subject line||Personal notes on information request|
|Distribution method||spam email campaigns|
|Removal||If you gets an email like the Hello, I work as a Private Investigator EMAIL SCAM, our computer security experts recommend follow some easy steps below|
What to do when you receive the Hello, I work as a Private Investigator EMAIL SCAM
We advice to someone who gets this fraudulence message:
- Do not panic.
- Do not pay a ransom.
- If there’s a link in the scam email, do not click it, otherwise you could unwittingly install malware or ransomware on your computer.
- Report the email spam to the FTC at https://www.ftc.gov/
- Scan your computer for malware.
- Install an anti-phishing software.
How to scan your PC for malware
We recommend using Zemana Anti-Malware or another free malware removal tool. Zemana is extremely fast and ultra light weight malicious software removal utility. It will allow you get rid of trojans, spyware, adware, potentially unwanted apps and other malware. This tool gives real-time protection which never slow down your computer.
Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) is developed for experienced and beginner computer users. The interface of this tool is very easy to use, simple and minimalist.
- Installing the Zemana Anti-Malware (ZAM) is simple. First you will need to download Zemana Free by clicking on the link below. Save it to your Desktop so that you can access the file easily.
Author: Zemana Ltd
Category: Security tools
Update: July 16, 2019
- At the download page, click on the Download button. Your browser will show the “Save as” prompt. Please save it onto your Windows desktop.
- After downloading is done, please close all programs and open windows on your computer. Next, run a file named Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup.
- This will run the “Setup wizard” of Zemana AntiMalware onto your PC system. Follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
- When the Setup wizard has finished installing, the Zemana will start and show the main window.
- Further, click the “Scan” button for checking your computer for malware. A scan may take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of files on your computer and the speed of your computer.
- When Zemana Anti-Malware is done scanning your computer, a list of all items detected is prepared.
- Review the results once the utility has done the system scan. If you think an entry should not be quarantined, then uncheck it. Otherwise, simply click the “Next” button. The tool will start to remove malicious software. Once the cleaning procedure is done, you may be prompted to restart the computer.
- Close the Zemana and continue with the next step.
How to protect yourself from phishing, malicious and misleading websites
If you want to protect yourself from phishing websites, then install an ad blocker program such as AdGuard. It can block malicious and misleading web sites, stop unwanted advertisements and popups when using the Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox and Edge. So, if you like surf the Internet, and want to protect your computer from malicious web pages, then the AdGuard is your best choice.
Installing the AdGuard is simple. First you’ll need to download AdGuard by clicking on the link below.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: November 15, 2018
After downloading it, double-click the downloaded file to start it. The “Setup Wizard” window will show up on the computer screen as displayed below.
Follow the prompts. AdGuard will then be installed and an icon will be placed on your desktop. A window will show up asking you to confirm that you want to see a quick guide as displayed on the screen below.
Click “Skip” button to close the window and use the default settings, or press “Get Started” to see an quick guidance which will assist you get to know AdGuard better.
Each time, when you start your system, AdGuard will start automatically and stop unwanted advertisements, block phishing, as well as other harmful or misleading websites. For an overview of all the features of the application, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the AdGuard icon, which can be found on your desktop.
We hope that this article helped you understand what the Hello, I work as a Private Investigator EMAIL SCAM is and not succumb to the threats of scammers. If you receive an email that is similar but not the same as the example above, make sure you remove any personal info in this message, then post it as comment on this article. It will help our team monitor the latest scams.