“Greetings! I have to share bad news with you” is an ongoing email fraud campaign that scares recipients who receive the mail. Its contents advise you to pay a sizable sum of money to a cryptocurrency wallet in exchange for the security of having your files kept from the public.
An email is merely a form of blackmail or a ransom note that asks recipients to pay money in return for their safety and privacy. However, since there is no concrete proof that the senders of these emails possess recipients’ private photos and data, it is most likely a hoax and users should not believe whatever these scammers say.
Here is the text transcript of the aforementioned scam email that has been circulating the web:
I have to share bad news with you. Approximately a few months ago, I gained access to your devices, which you use for internet browsing. After that, I have started tracking your internet activities.
Here is the sequence of events:
Some time ago, I purchased access to email accounts from hackers (nowadays, it is quite simple to buy it online). I have easily managed to log in to your email account email@example.com.
One week later, I have already installed the Cobalt Strike “Beacon” on the Operating Systems of all the devices you use to access your email. It was not hard at all (since you were following the links from your inbox emails). All ingenious is simple. :).
This software provides me with access to all your devices controllers (e.g., your microphone, video camera, and keyboard).
I have downloaded all your information, data, photos, videos, documents, files, web browsing history to my servers. I have access to all your messengers, social networks, emails, chat history, and contacts list.
My virus continuously refreshes the signatures (it is driver-based) and hence remains invisible for antivirus software. Likewise, I guess by now you understand why I have stayed undetected until this letter.
While gathering information about you, i have discovered that you are a big fan of adult websites. You love visiting porn websites and watching exciting videos while enduring an enormous amount of pleasure. Well, i have managed to record a number of your dirty scenes and montaged a few videos, which show how you masturbate and reach orgasms.
If you have doubts, I can make a few clicks of my mouse, and all your videos will be shared with your friends, colleagues, and relatives. Considering the specificity of the videos you like to watch (you perfectly know what I mean), it will cause a real catastrophe for you.
I also have no issue at all with making them available for public access (leaked and exposed all data).
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): Under the rules of the law, you face a heavy fine or arrest.
I guess you don’t want that to happen.
Let’s settle it this way:
You transfer 2.2 Bitcoin to me and once the transfer is received, I will delete all this dirty stuff right away. After that, we will forget about each other. I also promise to deactivate and delete all the harmful software from your devices. Trust me. I keep my word.
That is a fair deal, and the price is relatively low, considering that I have been checking out your profile and traffic for some time by now. If you don’t know how to purchase and transfer Bitcoin – you can use any modern search engine.
You need to send that amount here Bitcoin wallet:
(The price is not negotiable).
You have 5 days in order to make the payment from the moment you opened this email.
Do not try to find and destroy my virus! (All your data is already uploaded to a remote server).
Do not try to contact me. Various security services will not help you; formatting a disk or destroying a device will not help either, since your data is already on a remote server.
This is an APT Hacking Group. Don’t be mad at me, everyone has their own work.
I will monitor your every move until I get paid.
If you keep your end of the agreement, you won’t hear from me ever again.
Everything will be done fairly!
One more thing. Don’t get caught in similar kinds of situations anymore in the future!
My advice: keep changing all your passwords frequently.
Numerous variations of frightening emails are used in this type of fraud, which has been going around for years, to fool users into complying with the demands of the fraudsters.
Additionally, these scammers frequently attempt to assume the identity of a bank, governmental agency, or other company to support their allegations. In some rare instances, the words might even contain your name to make you believe they are real.
What to do after receiving the “Greetings! I have to share bad news with you” email?
The first thing you need do is to calm yourself because, even though it may appear genuine, it is merely fake and intended to deceive you.
Reporting the sender’s email will allow the address to eventually be blocked and the offender to be identified through an investigation by your country’s cybercrime enforcement agency.
For United States Citizens: You may email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at their official website.
For United Kingdom Citizens: You may visit Actionfraud.police.uk and file a report or call their number via 0300 123 2040.
For France Citizens: You may file your report via the Service-Public.fr website.
For Australian Citizens: You can use ReportCyber to file a report or call the Australian Cyber Security Hotline at 1300 292 371.
For Canadian Citizens: Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call their number 1-888-495-8501.
After that, you should block the email address of the sender to ensure that you don’t continue to receive further emails from them.
You should do a malware scan just in case to make sure your device isn’t genuinely infected and that no hackers have accessed your accounts or your data.
We recommend using Malwarebytes Anti-malware because we have determined that it can remove most types of malicious threats when we conducted malware tests.
Malwarebytes also offers a free 14-day trial when you download it for the first time, so you might want to use the remaining time of the trial to test out the premium features.
1 Click the button above to download the latest version of Malwarebytes Anti-malware.
2 Open the installation file after the download and follow the procedure shown.
3 After following the software setup instructions, wait for the application to finish installing.
4 Once the application is installed, you may now run your first computer scan and wait for it to finish.
5 All discovered malware on the computer will be displayed on the screen, and you can eliminate them by pressing the “quarantine” button.
Any malware that might have been lurking on your system has been removed, and any changes it made to the system have been reversed. You could ensure that your device is virus-free once more.
Even after taking the necessary precautions, it can be very unsettling to have scam email messages that can trick users into sending a large amount of money.
This is why we suggest browsing safely and not entering your email address on random text fields because that is most likely the cause of why you receive such emails.