19 February 2020
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What me? Caught watching X-rated videos.

On Wednesday I received an email that had the subject heading “maureen – george”. 

(The bad grammar has not been changed to not protect the dummies who send these pathetic emails!)

I get a lot of emails but the name George is very special to me so combined with my name I opened this one, even though I’d never heard the name of the sender.

“I know george is your pass. Lets get straight to the purpose. There is no one who has paid me to investigate about you. You do not know me and you are most likely thinking why you are getting this mail?”

Indeed, I was thinking just this. Full of typos as this email was, I was a tad worried as I did have a “pass” that I use for general log in social purposes that has the name of my much loved black Labrador in it – so while the password wasn't the full one, I was intrigued how the word “george” was known. 

The unsolicited email continued:

“Well, i actually placed a software on the adult streaming (sex sites) web-site and there's more, you visited this web site to experience fun (you know what i mean). While you were viewing videos, your browser began operating as a RDP having a key logger which provided me with access to your screen and also web cam. Just after that, my software program gathered your entire contacts from your Messenger, Facebook, and e-mailaccount. Next i created a double video. 1st part shows the video you were viewing (you've got a nice taste ; )), and next part displays the view of your web cam, and its u.”

Now I always try to see the lighter side of things so I looked over the top of my glasses and said jokingly to my rather well-known partner: “Have you been logging into these porn sites with my password?” Wondering what I meant (but not denying it!), he sat closer to me to see what I was reading. 

“You have just two choices,” the email from the mysterious Robbyn Opanasets (ogojannaplf@outlook.com) continued. “Let us review these choices in details:”

Well I probably should have bailed out at this point. Curiosity is supposed to kill the cat but I’ve never seen one die by this means, so I read on:

“Very first solution is to just ignore this email. Then, i most certainly will send your very own recorded material to each one of your contacts and also think concerning the awkwardness you will get. and likewise should you be in a romance, how this will affect?”

Mmmm…bad grammar but seriously, would my contacts really be startled by what the email described as “you’ve got a nice taste” selection? So I continued reading!

“in the second place solution would be to give me 7000 USD. i will name it as a donation. as a consequence, i most certainly will straight away discard your video. You can keep your life like this never happened and you would never hear back again from me.” 

Mmm…donation. I wonder if that would be tax deductible? I should call Fred (my accountant) about that but let me see where this is going…

“You'll make the payment via Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search 'how to buy bitcoin' in Google). BTC address to send to: 1EzcNKDed7XpcEb2LRrx4U8WrHf8dRecQS 

[CaSe-SeNSiTiVe so copy & paste it]. 

“if you may be making plans for going to the police, good, this e-mail can not be traced back to me. I have dealt with my moves. i am just not trying to ask you for very much, i would like to be compensated. You now have 48 hours to pay. i've a special pixel within this email, and at this moment i know that you have read this message. if i don't get the BitCoins, i will certainly send out your video recording to all of your contacts including members of your family, colleagues, etc. However, if i do get paid, i will destroy the video right away. if you need evidence, reply Yup then i will certainly send out your video recording to your 12 friends. it is a nonnegotiable offer, that being said please do not waste mine time and yours by responding to this message.”

Payment by bitcoin? Not sure if I know how to do this but Peter might be able to help. Could I trust Robbyn though to “destroy the video right away”? So many things to think about…

Now you know that I’m taking the mickey out of this scammer and 48 hours have passed and my family haven’t called me in disgust at my new found past time. But these kinds of emails are disturbing, and could suck in some people. 

After writing yesterday about a young woman who was actually ensnared by a scammer, I received comments from readers that said:

“Q. What is done to arrest or curtail these scammers and fraudsters?

A. Nothing.

The ATO knows it is going on but it is too difficult to track down. The scammers are on Skype or VOIP. It appears that Interpol is not interested because it is happening in other countries as well e.g. USA.”

I’ve been talking with police and others who deal in cyber crime and in the next episode of “Meet the Scammer” I’ll try to get answers to the question immediately above. Are these fraudsters as elusive as Osama Bin Laden? Why can’t they be found? Stay tuned! 

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