Extortion scams have been around for a long time, but they're getting bolder and in some cases, more dangerous. Be cautious of these scam emails... they're happening locally!
The first one plays on recipients' fears of being caught viewing inappropriate websites.
Scammers will send an email claiming they have a video of you spending time on these sites and then prompting you to download that video to see it for yourself.
But if you do, your computer gets infected with ransomware!
Avoid becoming a victim of extortion:
- Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know, and be wary of opening attachments even from those you DO know.
- Turn off and/or cover any web cameras when you are not using them.
Remember, if you receive an email that claims to have a compromising video of you viewing sensitive material, do not answer or send money. Instead, delete the email.
The second scam ups the ante by emailing a bomb threat message.
The email claims there is an explosive device in the building that will detonate unless you pay them in bitcoin.
This threat is being sent to millions of people, so the likelihood that it is real is very small. However, if you receive this type of extortion email be sure to do the following:
- Follow your organization's security policy
- Contact the appropriate authorities in your organization
- Do not answer or forward the email to coworkers.
Be vigilant out there, folks!