Religious woman exposes global Bitcoin porn scam

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‘Transfer $4000 in Bitcoin or we will expose video of you watching porn!’

That was the demand sent in an email to New Zealand woman Kim Saber.

She knew it was a scam because she’s ‘religious and doesn’t watch porn.’

But, worried about her young next-door neighbours,  she headed straight over to warn their mother.

“I went to the mum next door that’s got two teenage boys, because that’s very easy. They come home from school and go on the internet,” she told her local newspaper, The Dominion Post.

She said she was ‘shocked’ at first, then became ‘angry’ after receiving the email.

“We don’t watch porn and I have a really good relationship with my husband. I mean, we work together, play together, do everything together, so I knew it was bullshit,”

“We don’t watch porn and I have a really good relationship with my husband. I mean, we work together, play together, do everything together, so I knew it was bullshit.”

Local authorities in the town of Napier revealed they had hundreds of similar complaints when Ms Saber gave them a copy of the email, but it’s not only Kiwis being targeted.

Reports of the Bitcoin porn scam first surfaced in 2017 but a new-wave of emails began attracting global attention early last month.

The strategy behind the emails has become known as ‘sextortion’.

A Netherlands-based cybersecurity expert, known as ‘SecGuru’, has been monitoring the bitcoin porn scam and believes while one organised crime group was likely behind the original email, there are now many copy-cat scammers.

“I have seen English, Dutch, Danish and Spanish variants,” SecGuru tweeted.

Recently, SecGuru revealed research which indicated at least 151 people from across the world had been duped into sending a total of $250,000 in Bitcoin, after receiving similar sextortion emails.

In one form of the email, the scammer demands a $3200 ‘privacy fee.’

“You’ll make the payment in Bitcoin (if you don’t know how, search how to buy bitcoin in google)” the email states.

Bitcoin Porn Scam
The scammer demands payment of a $3200 ‘privacy fee’ and suggest the victim googles, “how to buy bitcoins.” (Pic: Twitter @SecGuru)

It’s believed the emails are random and not specifically targeted at consumers of online pornography.

In Australia, scams can be reported at the ScamWatch website. 

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