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Phone Malware Recording You

We’ve just heard from a TDS reader (9/1/18) who received the email below.  It is unlike anything we’ve seen before but we know for certain it is a scam and was likely sent to thousands of email addresses at random.

The sender informs the recipient, whose phone number ends in “54” that he has tricked the phone owner into installing malware on the phone.  With that malware, the scammer says he has recorded “private videos” that he will publish if you don’t contact him and pay him money within 48 hours.  We know this is a scam because the TDS reader who sent this to us doesn’t have a phone number ending in 54.

Notice that the email came from an address based in Japan (.jp = 2-letter country code for Japan).  Yet, the recipient is asked to reply to an email address associated with the domain service456[.]club.  A WHOIS lookup of this domain shows that it was registered two days earlier (8/30/2018) through a private proxy service in Panama.

Don’t believe this nonsense!  It is a bluff, similar to the sextortion bluff we described in our article “Sextortion by Email.”