I just got an email from “Joellen Branch”, a Technical Collection Officer, from the CIA, telling me that she will remove my name from a current child-porn case, and thus prevent my arrest, if I send her some bitcoin in the next few days.
It was sent from an email address with a .CF Domain Extension… which is the Central African Republic… so you KNOW it is legit.
They quote a Case Number, and have the CIA logo and everything… so I have NO DOUBT about its veracity!
Here is the text:
Distribution and storage of pornographic electronic materials involving underage children.
My name is Joellen Branch and I am a technical collection officer working for Central Intelligence Agency.
It has come to my attention that your personal details including your email address (my email was here) are listed in case #36925481.
The following details are listed in the document’s attachment:
• Your personal details,
• Home address,
• Work address,
• List of relatives and their contact information.
Case #36925481 is part of a large international operation set to arrest more than 2000 individuals suspected of paedophilia in 27 countries.
The data which could be used to acquire your personal information: • Your ISP web browsing history,
• DNS queries history and connection logs,
• Deep web .onion browsing and/or connection sharing,
• Online chat-room logs,
• Social media activity log.
The first arrests are scheduled for April 8, 2019.
Why am I contacting you ?
I read the documentation and I know you are a wealthy person who may be concerned about reputation.
I am one of several people who have access to those documents and I have enough security clearance to amend and remove your details from this case.
Here is my proposition.
Transfer exactly $10,000 USD (ten thousand dollars – about 2.5 BTC)
through Bitcoin network to this special bitcoin address: – REDACTED –
You can transfer funds with online bitcoin exchanges such as Coinbase, Bitstamp or Coinmama.
The deadline is March 27, 2019 (I need few days to access and edit the files).
Upon confirming your transfer I will take care of all the files linked to you and you can rest assured no one will bother you.
Please do not contact me.
I will contact you and confirm only when I see the valid transfer.
Regards, Joellen Branch
Technical Collection Officer
Directorate of Science and Technology
Central Intelligence Agency
At the top of this post, my comments are tongue-in-cheek, and may come off as being too cavalier, with regards to this email.
I am now getting several of these spam, every week, in various different incarnations… some threatening me with violence for cheating or work grudges… some threaten to expose me as a child-molester… some threaten to literally expose nude pictures of me performing explicit acts.
None of these allegations… or threats… are real.
As I have stated previously, the only “real” parts of these emails, are my email address… and the scammers bitcoin account number.
EVERYTHING ELSE (the originating email address, the threat or potential threat, are all nonsense, meant to intimidate and bully the recipient into compliance.
I have posted these emails, because they are a NEW online version of the CRA Phone Scam… and (perhaps because of the lacivious nature of the “charges” leveled in the emails) the media doesn’t seem to be alerting the public to this scam as diligently, as they have previous scams.
I have no intent of paying anyone, for anything… but am posting it, in case someone else gets it, but is concerned if the threat is real, or that their reputation may be falsely maligned.
None of the threats I have posted were real.
As I have stated previously, the only “real” parts of these emails, are my email address… and the scammers bitcoin account number. EVERYTHING ELSE (the originating email address… the threat or potential threat… and the supposed law enforcement agencies involved… are all nonsense, meant to intimidate and bully the recipient into compliance.)
I have posted these emails, because they are a NEW online version of the CRA Phone Scam.
I’m not sure why… (perhaps because of the nature of the “charges” leveled in the emails?) …but, the media doesn’t seem to be alerting the public to this scam as diligently, as they have with previous incarnations.
I have no intent of paying anyone, for anything… but am posting this version, in case someone else gets it, and is concerned whether the “threat” is real.
It SHOULD be noted, that, if you have any concerns about online threats, blackmail, extortion, or threatened computer piracy, you should contact local law enforcement, and appropriate Governmental Agencies.
(For Canadian agencies, you can find links in a previous post.)
Be savvy… there are a lot of scammers and spammers out there!
Today I got a new version of the “Send me Bitcoin” email scam that I haven’t gotten before. This one has a different spin…
It threatens violence against me, unless I pay up.
Again, it should be stated, (as I have said in the last two blog posts,) that these emails come from a spoofed email account, and the only thing that is “real” in these emails, are my email address, and the scammer’s BitCoin account number.
Here is the scammer’s latest offering:
I run a site in the darknet, I sell all kinds of services – basically it is destruction to property and injury. In the main, all but the shooting. Often main reasons are rejected love or competition at work. This month she talked to me and gave me the task of empty acid in your visage. Standard order – quickly, painfully, for life.
Without too much fuss. I get money only after completing the order. Therefore, now I offer you pay me to be inactive, I propose this to nearly all the victims. If I do not see money from you, then my person will fulfill the order. If you transfer me money, in addition to my inaction, I will give you the information that I have about the client. After completing the task, I always spend the performer, so I have a choice, to get $1800 from you for information about the customer and my inaction, or to get $ 5000 from the customer, but with a high probability of losing the performer.
I’m getting payments in BitCoin, here’s my Bitcoin address – REDACTED
The summary I told above.
24 hours to decide and pay, and keep in mind that clock is ticking.
I remember a few years back… my Father-In-Law was one of the first folks to get the “Canada Revenue Agency” call, saying that he owed money, he was in big trouble, and they were sending a police officer to arrest him. Now it seems like everyone is getting those calls… but at the time, we jumped in our car, and drove to his house, as fast as we could, to be there, just in case… and it left us, unsettled.
Today was my turn.
I got an email, saying that I had clicked on a link that gave someone access to my webcam, and my contacts, and unless I paid $300 USD (in Bitcoin) to them, they would send embarrassing video to everyone in my contact list… and, as the owner of a business, how this embarrassment would affect my company, and brand.
As I don’t have a webcam on any of my desktop or laptop computers, I deleted the email, and went about my day.
A short time later, I thought about it some more, and realized my ipad has a forward-facing camera, and theoretically could have been compromised.
Having said that:
I’m not paying.
I don’t like extortion, I don’t like bullies, and spammers and scammers suck.
I believe it is a scam…. and several days later, there have been no further developments.
I have posted a notice, letting my friends know, that if they get an email, saying there are compromising pictures of Bob, with a link… that they should “flush” it. Clicking on, or connecting to, a questionable link is ALWAYS a bad idea… and when you KNOW it is a bad link, an even worse idea.
I have contacted the RCMP… although there is nothing to give any leads in the email. The address is either spoofed or hacked. The only valid information in the email, would be the BitCoin account number, and that isn’t trackable.
I’ll say it again… Spammers and Scammers SUCK..
If you ever get anything similar, here are the prescribed steps, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre:
If you were the victim of fraud or extortion, please contact your local police.
Additionally, there are a number of other agencies that may be able to assist.
The following list is provided as a starting point: Financial institution, credit card company, insurance company, telephone company, Provincial Consumer Protection Agency, credit bureaus (Equifax Canada at http://www.consumer.equifax.ca/home/en_ca, TransUnion at http://www.transunion.ca/sites/ca/home_en), Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission at http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/home-accueil.htm, Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre at http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cbr-scrt/ccirc-ccric-eng.aspx and Service Canada at http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/sin/index.shtml.
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca)
- RCMP Scams page (http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-fraudes/index-eng.htm)
- Competition Bureau (http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/h_00122.html)
- OPP fraud prevention (https://www.opp.ca/index.php?id=115&lng=en&entryid=573e164b8f94ac69670ca89a)
If you want to see the text of the email, click here.
Oh, and if you are disappointed that you DON’T get to see a picture of a naked Bob… here is as close as you will get!