I’d like to preface this by saying how much time I spend thinking about stories and how to write them in an interesting way. However, more and more, I find that the most interesting ones occur in real life and all I have to do is report them in my own words. Below is such an example:
January 1, 2020
A new decade and an actual e-mail I received that day.
“Let’s just get straight to the point. I am a hardware development engineer with 8 years of experience. How I know your contacts? It’s a stupid question because it’s very easy to get, remember? I have 8 years of experience in this.”
An interesting introduction. What does a hardware development engineer want with me and my contacts? What is a hardware development engineer? And why is he introducing himself, posing a hypothetical question and then calling the question stupid? I’ll admit I’m intrigued.
“Do you remember the day you spent time with your partner in the hotel? I have installed a mini wireless hidden spy camera on the nearest television, but you with your partner do not know because it is A very, very small. My hidden camera has your sex video recorder with your partner.”
Do I remember the day I spent with my partner in the hotel? Intrigue turns to fascination. Is this blackmail? Just the phrase “mini wireless hidden spy camera” delights every little Jason Bourne part of me. The fact that the camera is not only small but very, very small further emphasizes the trouble I am surely in. And then the “coup de gras” – the very, very small hidden spy camera has my sex video recorder with my partner. First thought, “Thankfully I wasn’t alone. That would be embarrassing.” Second thought, “This may have been translated from another language by someone, English not speaking much. No, it’s an international spy ring with teeny tiny cameras. Oh my god! Is this where you introduce damning evidence that proves this is anything more than a form letter sent out from the Acme School, Introduction to Extortion 101?” I shudder with anticipation.
“You have 2 options
number 1: Ignore this message but I will upload your video to pornhub.comm”
OK, now I get it. This is just a commercial for the delightfully named and I giggle even as I type this pornhub.comm. But do I really want my sex video recorder on such an illustrious site?
“number 2: You must transfer the money to me through bitcoin (BTC) payment, let’s say this donation is for your little secret.”
My donation is for my little secret? Paid in Bitcoin (BTC). There are so many flaws in this attempted extortion that I’m giddy with anticipation. It can’t possibly get any better than threatening to embarrass me and my partner and then asking for a donation to hide my little secret, in Bitcoin no less. But wait – there’s more.
“The question, how much bitcoin or transfer will you send? Do you remember the price you are staying at the hotel? Yes, it will pay me a ten-day hotel price and convert the money to bitcoin currency.”
Now, ‘master thief’, this would have been an opportune time to introduce your evidence. Example: Remember you are staying at the “Hyatt Regency San Francisco” last April? Oh damn you got me now. I did stay there last April. This is going to cost me a fortune. But our wily little black mailer leaves it up to me to know the hotel and the price. Just think how many guilty people there must be and their need to cover up their misdeeds for this to have ever worked, even once. Next:
“To make a payment you must first create the account at, Choose one of this exchange www.cex.io, “
(There are 4 more addresses but you get the idea, devious little genius covering his tracks).
“then create your bitcoin wallet. After that you will deposit bitcoin to your wallet, then transfer the bitcoin funds to my bitcoin wallet address.
The address of my Bitcoin (BTC) wallet is: 1CGwWv3hsDuVA18XMFKV85Vv6BgcYzg”
Wait, can I just call you 1CG since I feel like we know each other now and 1CGwWv3hsDuVA18XMFKV85Vv6BgcYzg doesn’t exactly flow off the tongue? So, I’m sending you money for my little secret which, as far as I can tell, is having sex with my wife in a hotel room? Man, I wish I was clever enough to make this story up but I’m not and since you’re ‘phishing’ might I suggest that you use a little more bait. At this point you are casting such a poorly mended and small net that I think the only thing you’re likely to catch is my derision, (look it up). However if you spice it up a bit, say instead of the generic “partner” you could insert “hooker”, “farm animal” or even “blow up doll”. Just the guilt factor alone could catch you some ‘phish’. I also think it’s interesting to note that I’m so immediately caught up in this plot that I’m now actively trying to think of ways to improve it.
Then below with a black and insidious background to denote the seriousness of this grave matter.
“The address of the Bitcoin wallet for the letter and number is very sensitive, so best to write correctly uppercase or lowercase letters, write it on paper then save it.”
So you’re sending this to me on a computer but you want me to write it down on a piece of paper and save it? Ever heard of copy, cut and paste, Mr. Hardware Development Engineer with eight years of experience who trades only in Bitcoin (BTC)? Oh, 1CG you make my heart sing…
“After receiving the bitcoin payment, I promise that I will delete all your videos. Without a doubt, you can continue with your daily life as if it never happened, and you will never hear from me again.”
Well, considering how long we’ve known each other and that the nature of our relationship is extortion can I just say that I’m suspicious of your promises? And continuing on with my daily life as if this had never happened is impossible. I’m fairly sure I’ll be telling this story to anyone who’ll listen for the rest of my life.
“I give you three days to make the payment, and if you didn’t send bitcoin, I would upload your epic sex videos at http://www.pornhub.comm. If you want proof, I will be happy to upload it to YouTube and send the link. Remember to pay with Ten Days Hotel Price- 10 Days Hotel Price.”
Well you flatterer, I’m blushing. Epic sex videos? At 63 I’m lucky if I have sex, much less of the “epic” variety and posted on http://www.pornhub.comm no less. And what could possibly go wrong with first posting the link on YouTube? The mind races. I’m tempted to send you the “Ten Days Hotel Price” just for such a lovely compliment. Oh 1CG, I can’t help but feel we could have been friends. Too bad we got off to such a rocky start. Merry New Year.
*Editors note: The name of the website has been changed to protect the reader from seeing that which can’t be unseen. Happy New Year.