We have received many reports from customers who have received emails claiming that a cyber criminal has hacked their PC and gained footage from their webcam of explicit sexual acts. They threaten that unless they pay $xxxx (usually in Bitcoin currency) that they will leak this video onto the Internet and activate malware that they have installed on their PC.
Furthermore, In the email subject line you may also note that they have included a previously used password from a website that the user has accessed, this is to further strengthen your belief that this is real and solidify their attack on you.
First, we want to reassure everyone these are hoax, Phishing emails, designed to get you to part with your cash and create fear to make you engage in a knee-jerk reaction to what seems to be a terrifying attack on your privacy.
How to stay safe
Here are a few tips on what to do:
- Never pay anyone in Bitcoin or react (or interact) with a scammer.
- Never click a link or open an attachment to scam emails demanding a ransom.
- Always use complex passwords for the sites you use, especially ones with personal identifiable and sensitive information (i.e. Social Media, Banks, Shopping Sites, etc.)
- Only access sites that are secure (with the padlock and starting with https://)
- Never reply to a scam email.
- If you think your password has been compromised in anyway, change it.
- If you have gone too far and divulged your bank or card details to a scam email or rogue website, then you must inform the bank immediately.
If you want to know more about how to stay safe online please visit https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/
If you have been a victim of fraud then report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime