Fake Cybersecurity Blogs are Trying to Scam Sextortion Email Victims
Sextortion email scams are becoming very common and scam sites masquerading as cybersecurity blogs are trying to take advantage of the momentum for their own personal gain by reinforcing the sextortion scam and tricking victims to download bad software that won’t help them.
A sextortion email scam message is an email message sent from a scammer that basically says malware is on your computer and that you were recorded through your camera while watching intimate videos. The scam is trying to blackmail you to pay them in Bitcoin in order to get them to delete the alleged video of you. Some scams may appear to be legitimate because they may obtain the target’s password in the message; However, information such as passwords associated with sextortion email scams are obtained in a data breaches and not by malware.
If you have ever received an email message claiming that someone recorded you through your camera, it can be frightening, and it may lead you to search for information about the email message. In any case, you may end up searching the actual Bitcoin wallet included in the email message, and when you search for the Bitcoin wallet you will find that search results pages are filled with numerous scam sites trying to scam you.
The scam sites claim that the Bitcoin wallet is a virus and that they have the miracle cure to remove it. The cure, of course, is to download and install the software they recommend which is usually Reimage or another deceptive program that is more dangerous than it is helpful. Reimage has a bad online reputation and it is not recommended to use this program for any reason. Reimage is detected as PUP.Optional.Reimage by Malwarebytes and as malware or an unwanted program by multiple Antivirus programs.
In reality, a Bitcoin wallet it not a virus, it is not malware, and it is not connected to malware in any way. It is impossible for a Bitcoin wallet to be a virus. Bad software such as Reimage cannot help you remove malware from your computer that does not exist in the first place, so don’t download anything a suspicious site tries to tell you to.
How to scam works:
- Target opens the initial sextortion scam email message.
- Target searches for information about the email message and may search the Bitcoin wallet.
- Google shows various scam sites in search results pages that claim your computer is infected with viruses and malware.
- Target visits the sites, follows their instructions, and ends up downloading their recommended software which ends up to be malware or a PUP such as Reimage.
- Site is paid commission for tricking the target to download malware and sign up for a subscription to the malicious program.
This is a list of fake malware removal blogs that try to scam the recipients of email scam messages:
If you have come across these sites or others, report them to Google to help Google recognize the bad sites and have them removed from Search Results Pages. It’s up to Google to clean up these scam sites before they can hurt more people. In addition, aside from Google, there are other reputation management sites and services where you can report these bad sites.