Scammers are getting more creative and persuasive in their attempt to trick the potential victim into conducting a payment, typically in Bitcoin. All recent scams delivered via email have this in common – creating a sense of fear and urgency in order to persuade the recipient to transfer a large sum of money in Bitcoin.
The “Central Intelligence Agency – Case #47928153″ Scam Explained
The latest such scam that came to our attention uses the “Central Intelligence Agency – Case #47928153” subject line, with the sender representing themselves as a “technical collection officer for Central Intelligence Agency”. Note that the case number and sender’s name will vary in each individual spam email.
Needless to mention, the sender does not work for the CIA and wants to push the recipient into paying “exactly $10,000 USD (ten thousand dollars – about 2.5 BTC)”. The pretext of this scam is the distribution and storage of pornographic electronic materials involving underage children.
The scammer, in this case a “Sherry Nestor”, claims that she read the documentation and knows the recipient is a wealthy person who may be concerned about their reputation. A payment would allegedly persuade the “technical collection officer for Central Intelligence Agency” to remove any details about “Case #47928153”.
Here’s what the scam email looks like:
Distribution and storage of pornographic electronic materials involving underage children.
My name is Sherry Nestor and I am a technical collection officer working for Central Intelligence Agency.
It has come to my attention that your personal details including your email address (email@example.com) are listed in case #47928153.
The following details are listed in the document’s attachment:
Your personal details,
List of relatives and their contact information.
Case #47928153 is part of a large international operation set to arrest more than 2000 individuals suspected of paedophilia in 27 countries.
The data which could be used to acquire your personal information:
Your ISP web browsing history,
DNS queries history and connection logs,
Deep web .onion browsing and/or connection sharing,
Online chat-room logs,
Social media activity log.
The first arrests are scheduled for April 8, 2019.
Why am I contacting you ?
I read the documentation and I know you are a wealthy person who may be concerned about reputation.
I am one of several people who have access to those documents and I have enough security clearance to amend and remove your details from this case. Here is my proposition.
Transfer exactly $10,000 USD (ten thousand dollars – about 2.5 BTC) through Bitcoin network to this special bitcoin address:
You can transfer funds with online bitcoin exchanges such as Coinbase, Bitstamp or Coinmama. The deadline is March 27, 2019 (I need few days to access and edit the files).
Upon confirming your transfer I will take care of all the files linked to you and you can rest assured no one will bother you.
Please do not contact me. I will contact you and confirm only when I see the valid transfer.
Technical Collection Officer
Directorate of Science and Technology
Central Intelligence Agency
Compared to other scam emails, this one is well-written, with the scammer claiming to have enough security clearance to amend and remove details from this case. However persuasive it may sound, don’t fall for it because it is a scam. Your email address may have been compromised in a data breach, and you can check it via the Have I been pwned service.