I received an email from one of my websites that the website is being hacked. Although it is protected, I must say I am a bit anxious when I received the email.
The email reads as follows.
“We have hacked your website and extracted your databases.
How did this happen?
Our team has found a vulnerability within your site that we were able to exploit. After finding the vulnerability we were able to get your database credentials and extract your entire database and move the information to an offshore server.”
Thereafter, the email ends with the following.
“We are willing to refrain from destroying your site’s reputation for a small fee . The current fee is $2000 USD in bitcoins (BTC). Send the bitcoin to the following Bitcoin address (Copy and paste as it is case sensitive):
Once you have paid we will automatically get informed that it was your payment. Please note that you have to make payment within 5 days after receiving this notice or the database leak, e-mails dispatched, and de-index of your site WILL start!
How do I get Bitcoins?
You can easily buy bitcoins via several websites or even offline from a Bitcoin-ATM. We suggest you https://cex.io/ for buying bitcoins.
What if I don’t pay ?
If you decide not to pay, we will start the attack at the indi cated date and uphold it until you do, there’s no counter measure t o this, you will only end up wasting more money trying to find a solution. We will completely destroy your reputation amongst google and your customer s.
This is not a hoax, do not reply to this email, don��t try to reason or negotiate, we will not read any replies. Once you hav e paid we will stop what we were doing and you will never hear from us again!
Please note that Bitcoin is anonymous and no one will find out that you have complied.”
This is generally known either as “email blackmail” or “phishing scam” and the email should have been diverted to your spam folder.
This email spams have been sent over the years, but during the Covid-19 situation, there seems to be a spike in this scam.
As this is commonly received in the our spam folder, very few people ever make the requested payment. However, since the cost of sending millions of spam emails is basically zero, this scammer have nothing to lose.
While it’s generally safe to ignore spam emails like this, some people will want reassurance.
Not Getting the Hook
However, these scammer have another approach as random spam emails probably don’t not have much success. The most common ones are email spoofing, including a password, and including all or part of a phone number.
One of the tricks is editing the From: and Reply to: fields in the email messages, so these scammers can input these fields with anything they like. So, it may look like this.
From: your email address or To: your email address, so it will looked as though you had sent the email yourself but you hadn’t.
So do not be alarm when you received a spam email to transfer Bitcoins to the spammer.
What you should Do?
Do your research. You can google a couple of scam articles and read them through. There are some victims who was blackmailed and posted articles on this.
You can use your community online Fraud’s website such as your own police website to report a phishing attempt.
If you have lost money, you must report it as a crime to your local police station.
Reporting phishing attempts is good but a hassle for some of us, It depends on the severity of email and whether the victim have lost a substantial amount of money.
Safety is your Priority
The best way to deal with phishing and other spam emails is to delete them on sight.
- Don’t open them, don’t reply to them
- Don’t open any documents that may be attached to the email
- Don’t click any links in them
- Don’t enter any information into websites fetched by those links
- Don’t reply and send them any money.
Stay Safe from Scam!