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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Chapala
    Posts
    2,870

    Default What to Do if You Get an Extortion Attempt

    OK so I just received an email message in my personal Hotmail account. The person sending the email started out with "I know your password is xxxxxxxx (redacted here)" and then continued to threaten me by saying he/she had made fake videos of me watching porn and would send out those videos to all of my contacts in Hotmail and Facebook if I didn't immediately send him/her $896 USD.

    The most interesting thing about this email is that the password is one that I do use, but only for one account: this one here at ExpertLaw. So it appears that this individual gleaned the information about me (my name, my email account address, and my password) from this very site.

    Has anyone else experienced anything like this recently? Should I report the email to Hotmail? How? Should I report it to ExpertLaw? Does this post serve as a report?

    (Note, I am no stranger to spam and scams - I get emails all the time ostensibly from PayPal and Bank of America demanding my social security number/bank account number - but this has kind of thrown me. Not the videos-of-me-watching-porn part, I'm a fat old bag who's never watched porn in her life, I'm sure such videos would give my friends a good laugh, but the password and email address thing. Something has been hacked and I fear said hacking may continue.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    23,820

    Default Re: Extortion Attempt

    I had a similar issue that originated "down the street" although it spread to this site. That was ten years ago, though; I haven't had anything recently.

    However, you may have seen my post on FB this weekend asking for anyone who received an email from one of my older addresses to let me know - I had something a little weird happen with that suggests that it may have been hacked. Or may have just been Microsoft's paternalism.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: Extortion Attempt

    Yes, I have gotten such an email message, three of them actually. I ignored all of them and nothing has happened. However, take a hard look at all recently installed software and look for any malware and kill it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Chapala
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Extortion Attempt

    I wonder if it's that guy from down the street whose thread got locked - the one whose passport was being cancelled and who was freaking out at me for trying to explain some points about passport renewal to me. Maybe he tried to get my email address and password there, couldn't, googled "eerelations" and found me here. And did some hacking here. Who knows? Do we have a "shrug" emoticon here?

    Quote Quoting DAWW
    View Post
    Yes, I have gotten such an email message, three of them actually. I ignored all of them and nothing has happened. However, take a hard look at all recently installed software and look for any malware and kill it.
    Aha! So it's someone hacking this site. (That would also explain the request for US money.) No new software, so I'm OK there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    233

    Default Re: Extortion Attempt

    Been getting them for months. Ignore it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Chapala
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Extortion Attempt

    So DAWW and bcr229, the emails you've been getting have included your passwords? (Again, I don't care about the threats in the email I received, it's the fact that he knows the password I use for this site that bothers me.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: Extortion Attempt

    Yes it included the password, but I use the same "low priority" password here that I use on a number of websites. I use that password anywhere I do not care if it got hacked. There are two obvious ways of hacking the password. The more scary is malware on the computer. The less scary is someone paying for "advertising" which actually does screen capture of information typed (including passwords). I use a very different set of passwords for email, banking and anything I actually care about. There is nothing anyone can do with one of my low priority passwords. Any threat to access my email is idle UNLESS they have malware on my computer, so always check that first thing. And also keep a current security program such as Norton running. Third site screen capture programs go around security programs so they are always the obvious suspect.

    This website uses HTTPS protocol and does not seem to be running the right type of advertising for there to be any material risk. Any website that runs pop up ads when you visit it is at much higher risk, especially if it uses HTTP protocol. I also use a different email address for low priority websites, which the threatening email used.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Chapala
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Extortion Attempt

    Thanks. The password quoted was also my "low-priority" password, now (and for the past five years) used only for this site.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,651

    Default Re: Extortion Attempt

    A pretty good site to check and see if your security has been breached.

    https://haveibeenpwned.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,826

    Default Re: Extortion Attempt

    Were you asleep when the site was compromised a year or two ago?

    Vbulletin 4 (and perhaps even 5) is a massive security disaster. It's one of the driving reasons why I abandoned it for XenForo (as did FreeAdvice). Even Xf has security issues, but at least they have an active staff working on things.

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