“Hello, this account is infected.” This is what my latest email scammer is telling me. He’s hacked my computer and knows that I’ve been watching porn, and he’s going to let all my contacts know about it – unless, of course, I send him $1,000. In Bitcoin, no less. As if I knew how to use Bitcoin.
I know it’s a scam because I haven’t been watching porn, but I’m sure this guy sends his blackmail to millions of people, and some of them are bound to have been indulging in a little afternoon delight with their computer. I can just picture their panic when they see this email. “Oh crap, if my mom finds out, I’m a goner. Where am I going to get $1,000? Don’t they know I’m fifty-five and still live at home? I don’t have that kind of money.”
This particular scam is scary because it shows your own email address as the person who sent it. Wow, how do they do that? I asked Google, who sent me to the FTC, which said: “This is a criminal extortion attempt to separate people from their money. If you — or someone you know — gets a letter like this, report it immediately to your local police, and the FBI.” Another site explained in techno mumbo-jumbo how scammers mimic your own email address, but they really haven’t hacked your account. Their advice? Change your password and don’t worry. Just ignore it.
Okay, I won’t worry, but it really makes me want to do something vicious to these hackers, like locking them in an air-tight room with old-west cowboys who’ve eaten nothing but beans for the past six months. Or strapping them into the passenger seat of a car with a driver who uses the gas pedal and brake at the same time – jerk the jerk, as it were. These people deserve to be tormented in very psychologically annoying ways.