Photo of an old man in a white shirt with white hair and a mustache set against a black background. In text to the left is written: It's eaier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled - Mark Twain

2023 Grateful 11: Held to ransom

I’ve heard of ransomware – of having your computer hijacked and having to pay big money to get access back along with your data. I’ve also heard of blackmail. I’ve never experienced either, until today.

Checking through my junk/spam to see if an errant invoice had ended up there, I was disturbed to see that my bank is closing my account in the next 15 days and due to financial regulations, it cannot give me a reason for the closure. There’s not much in there, so have at it, I say. I’m not clicking the link.

But that wasn’t the problem email.

I then noticed a message saying that my passwords had been bought from a hacker and for the last six months someone has been strolling around my computer and my social media, having a right ole time, looking at everything I look at. They’ve also installed a Trojan or three, for good measure.

Apparently, during their travels through my online world, they discovered something about me that I didn’t know.

During the process of your personal info compilation, I could not help but notice that you are a huge admirer and regular guest of websites with adult content. You endure a lot of pleasure while checking out porn websites, watching nasty porn movies and reaching breathtaking orgasms. Let me be frank with you, it was really hard to resist from recording some of those naughty solo scenes with you in main role and compiling them in special videos that expose your masturbation sessions, which end with you cumming.

I think I’d have remembered.

They then threatened to send these videos to my friends, colleagues, and relatives, thus completely ruining my reputation, they say.

Unless I cough up.

You need to carry out a $1450 USD transfer to my wallet (equivalent amount in bitcoins depending on exchange rate at the moment of funds transfer), hence upon receiving the transaction, I will proceed with deleting all the filthy videos with you in main role. Afterwards, we can forget about this unpleasant accident.

Aha! Accident! That was my first clue, confirmation that I hadn’t unknowingly done all this. Didn’t they mean INCIDENT?

It’s an odd amount.

They gave me their Bitcoin wallet number, too.  And warned me not to tell the police or anyone else. I shouldn’t even be telling you.

I was heartened to read that this was, in fact, a bargain. Given all the effort they’ve gone to.

That is a great bargain with a low price, I assure you, because I have spent a lot of effort while recording and tracking down all your activities and dirty deeds during a long period of time.

I’m glad to know that the writer is, at heart, an honest person.

Furthermore, I guarantee that all the malicious software will also be erased from your devices and accounts. Mark my words, I never lie.

The lengthy missive ended with a reminder to be sure to change all my passwords.

For that, at least, I’m grateful.

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