A scam email has been making the rounds. The email states that the sender has hacked your computer or email, and they have been using your own webcam to record you enjoying pornographic videos. The sender threatens to send this recording to all your friends and contacts if you don’t send money in bitcoin.

Often, the sender’s email is YOUR email address. This can be upsetting. If they are sending from your email address, then they must have hacked your email, right?

Nope. It’s very easy to fake a “From:” address for an email. This process, called spoofing, is so easy that there are websites that will do it for free. Just search for “send spoofed email” in your browser, and you’ll find dozens of these websites.

The person who sent this email has sent thousands of these emails to every email address they could find. If you received an email like this, you have probably been using that same email address for years. After you use an email address for a while, it gets out there on spam lists and other types of lists that hackers like to use.

So you can safely ignore this email. And in the future, if you get an email that scares you, copy some of the text, paste it into your browser, and do a search. Chances are, someone has already reported a similar scam, and you’ll find websites that discuss the scam.