A new email sextortion scam is circling the web, using the subject line “Your account is being used by another person!”. As seen in many other similar scams, scammers are extorting users with the pretext that their email accounts were hacked and they have been recorded watching adult content.
In this case, the scammers are claiming that the user got “infected with malware through an adult site that you visited“, and that they have a “video showing how you satisfy yourself in the left half of the screen.” Of course, these are both bogus claims, and the fact that this scam email appears to be sent from the user’s own email account is an indication of spoofing. Continue reading to learn what spoofing is, and what steps to take to ensure your security against scams such as “Your account is being used by another person!”.
|Name||Your account is being used by another person!|
|Type||Email Scam Message, Spoofing|
|Short Description||A scam that tries to scare you into paying a ransom fee for a supposed breach of your email account. The scammer also claims that he has recorded you watching adult content.|
|Symptoms||You receive an email message that tries to trick you into thinking that your email account got compromised, and there are recordings of you watching adult content.|
|Distribution Method||Email Spam Messages, Suspicious Sites|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Your account is being used by another person!.|
“Your account is being used by another person!” Scam – Details
Here’s what the full text of the “Your account is being used by another person!” scam claims:
As you may have noticed, I sent you an email from your account.
This means that I have full access to your device.
I’ve been watching you for a few months now.
The fact is that you were infected with malware through an adult site that you visited.
If you are not familiar with this, I will explain.
Trojan Virus gives me full access and control over a computer or other device.
This means that I can see everything on your screen, turn on the camera and microphone, but you do not know about it.
I also have access to all your contacts and all your correspondence.
Why your antivirus did not detect malware?
Answer: My malware uses the driver, I update its signatures every 4 hours so that your antivirus is silent.
I made a video showing how you satisfy yourself in the left half of the screen, and in the right half you see the video that you watched.
With one click of the mouse, I can send this video to all your emails and contacts on social networks.
I can also post access to all your e-mail correspondence and messengers that you use.
If you want to prevent this,
transfer the amount of $734 to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how to do this, write to Google: “Buy Bitcoin”).
My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is: 1N6dubqFmnyQ2qDWvi32ppVbc3kKMTYcGW
After receiving the payment, I will delete the video and you will never hear me again.
I give you 50 hours (more than 2 days) to pay.
I have a notice reading this letter, and the timer will work when you see this letter.
Filing a complaint somewhere does not make sense because this email cannot be tracked like my bitcoin address.
I do not make any mistakes.
If I find that you have shared this message with someone else, the video will be immediately distributed.
The “Your account is being used by another person!” scam message may appear to be sent from your own email address. This means that your email address was spoofed. Such scams usually claim that the recipient’s email was hacked, and that’s why the email appears to be sent from it. However, this is not true and you should not worry about your account being hacked.
The truth is that spam operators have been spoofing email addresses for a long time. In the past, spammers got hold of email lists with the help of computers infected by malware. Nowadays, phishing has evolved to such an extent that spammers can phish carefully chosen victims with messages that look like they came from friends, trustworthy sources, or even their own account.
The tools that enable email spoofing are surprisingly easy to get. All you need is a working SMTP server which is a server that can send email, and the right mailing software.
Additionally, any mail server can be configured to send from a specific domain, and there are even websites that will let you send emails using any email address for free. It should be noted that these methods leave traces that give spoofing away. That’s why it is important to learn how to read email headers.
Note that showing your email headers depends on the email provider. For Gmail, open the email and click on the three vertical dots next to the reply arrow and select “Show Original” to revise the details.
Other reasons for receiving scam messages such as the “Your account is being used by another person!” scam include your email being compromised in a data breach, or harvested along with thousands of other emails. However, the chance that your system was indeed infected by malware also exists.
This option should not be overlooked, especially if you have opened a suspicious email attachment or clicked on an unknown link. Phishing can lead to various outcomes, including the exposure of personal accounts.
The funny thing is that all popular 2019 phishing scams are also deployed via email messages as the main distribution tactic. The recipients are usually sent messages that are disguised as legitimate notifications from a service, program, product or another party concerning a certain type of interaction which is required. Most of the times the scams are related to account activity, fraud transactions or password reset reminders.
All of these may be legitimate reasons for sending out activity messages and as such can easily be confused with the real notifications. In almost all cases similar sounding domain names and security certificates (self-signed, stolen or hacker-issued) will be implemented in the landing pages to confuse the recipients that they are visiting a safe site.
If you have interacted with such a phishing message, your accounts may have been compromised, email accounts included. Your financial details may be at risk, as well. So it may be a good idea to scan your system for spyware or malware.
A simple solution
Since all recent extortion-based scams, such as the “Your account is being used by another person!” scam, are relying on purported recordings of the recipient watching adult content, simply cover up your laptop’s camera. This may sound silly but knowing that your camera is covered leaves no place for you to worry, regardless of the scammer’s claims.
Another simple thing you can do to avoid email harvesting (where scammers and third parties harvest email addresses in bulk) is the so-called email address munging, or simply changing the “@” sign into “at” and the “.” into “dot”. This is especially valid for individuals with business emails that are visible to the entire internet.
And once again, no matter how persuasive the “Your account is being used by another person!” email you received sounds, don’t fall for it because it is a scam.
Remove “Your account is being used by another person!” Scam
To remove the “Your account is being used by another person!” scam, you should simply delete the email message. However, there is always the option that you were indeed breached or hacked. If you suspect this to be true, you should see the step-by-step removal instructions provided below. In case you cannot get rid of any files related to the “Your account is being used by another person!” scam or find out other malicious ones, you should search for and remove any leftover malware pieces with an advanced anti-malware tool. Software like that will keep your system secure in the future.
- Guide 1: How to Remove Your account is being used by another person! from Windows.
- Guide 2: Get rid of Your account is being used by another person! from Mac OS X.
- Guide 3: Remove Your account is being used by another person! from Google Chrome.
- Guide 4: Erase Your account is being used by another person! from Mozilla Firefox.
- Guide 5: Uninstall Your account is being used by another person! from Microsoft Edge.
- Guide 6: Remove Your account is being used by another person! from Safari.
- Guide 7: Eliminate Your account is being used by another person! from Internet Explorer.
How to Remove Your account is being used by another person! from Windows.
Step 1: Boot Your PC In Safe Mode to isolate and remove Your account is being used by another person!
Step 2: Uninstall Your account is being used by another person! and related software from Windows
Here is a method in few easy steps that should be able to uninstall most programs. No matter if you are using Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista or XP, those steps will get the job done. Dragging the program or its folder to the recycle bin can be a very bad decision. If you do that, bits and pieces of the program are left behind, and that can lead to unstable work of your PC, errors with the file type associations and other unpleasant activities. The proper way to get a program off your computer is to Uninstall it.
Step 3: Clean any registries, created by Your account is being used by another person! on your computer.
The usually targeted registries of Windows machines are the following:
You can access them by opening the Windows registry editor and deleting any values, created by Your account is being used by another person! there. This can happen by following the steps underneath:
Get rid of Your account is being used by another person! from Mac OS X.
Step 1: Uninstall Your account is being used by another person! and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove Your account is being used by another person! via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Scan for and remove Your account is being used by another person! files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Your account is being used by another person!, the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Remove Your account is being used by another person! from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Start Google Chrome and open the drop menu
Step 2: Move the cursor over "Tools" and then from the extended menu choose "Extensions"
Step 3: From the opened "Extensions" menu locate the unwanted extension and click on its "Remove" button.
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Google Chrome by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Erase Your account is being used by another person! from Mozilla Firefox.
Step 1: Start Mozilla Firefox. Open the menu window
Step 2: Select the "Add-ons" icon from the menu.
Step 3: Select the unwanted extension and click "Remove"
Step 4: After the extension is removed, restart Mozilla Firefox by closing it from the red "X" button at the top right corner and start it again.
Uninstall Your account is being used by another person! from Microsoft Edge.
Step 1: Start Edge browser.
Step 2: Open the drop menu by clicking on the icon at the top right corner.
Step 3: From the drop menu select "Extensions".
Step 4: Choose the suspected malicious extension you want to remove and then click on the gear icon.
Step 5: Remove the malicious extension by scrolling down and then clicking on Uninstall.
Remove Your account is being used by another person! from Safari.
Step 1: Start the Safari app.
Step 2: After hovering your mouse cursor to the top of the screen, click on the Safari text to open its drop down menu.
Step 3: From the menu, click on "Preferences".
Step 4: After that, select the 'Extensions' Tab.
Step 5: Click once on the extension you want to remove.
Step 6: Click 'Uninstall'.
A pop-up window will appear asking for confirmation to uninstall the extension. Select 'Uninstall' again, and the Your account is being used by another person! will be removed.
Eliminate Your account is being used by another person! from Internet Explorer.
Step 1: Start Internet Explorer.
Step 2: Click on the gear icon labeled 'Tools' to open the drop menu and select 'Manage Add-ons'
Step 3: In the 'Manage Add-ons' window.
Step 4: Select the extension you want to remove and then click 'Disable'. A pop-up window will appear to inform you that you are about to disable the selected extension, and some more add-ons might be disabled as well. Leave all the boxes checked, and click 'Disable'.
Step 5: After the unwanted extension has been removed, restart Internet Explorer by closing it from the red 'X' button located at the top right corner and start it again.