Extortion Scam Alert

Cyber criminals send victims their own passwords in extortion scam

Cyber criminals are attempting to blackmail unsuspecting victims by claiming to have used the victims’ password to install spying malware on the victims’ computer.

Criminals claim they’ve recorded videos of the victim watching adult material by activating their webcam when they visit these websites. What makes this scam so convincing is that the email usually includes a genuine password the victim has used for one of their online accounts. It is believed criminals are obtaining passwords from data breaches.

What to do if you get one of these emails?

Don’t reply to the email, or be pressured into paying. The police advise that you do not pay criminals. Try flagging the email as spam/junk if you receive it multiple times. Perform a password reset as soon as possible on any accounts where you’ve used the password mentioned in the email. Always use a strong, separate password for important accounts, such as your email. Where available, enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Always install the latest software and app updates. Install, or enable, anti-virus software on your laptops and computers and keep it updated.

This information aims to give you crime prevention advice to keep yourself, your family and friends safe from cyber enabled crimes.

If you or someone you know receives one of these emails, the advice is to report it to Action Fraud’s reporting tool via their website, accessible via the link button below.

If you have received one of these emails and have paid the ransom, report it to your local police force.

Action Fraud Reporting