Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Email Scam Alert! - Don't fall for this scam

On Saturday, I received a rather alarming email. Contained within the title was my name and an old password I used on a social media site. It was pretty clear that someone had, to some extent, hacked my private details. When I read the first paragraph, I was quite alarmed.

"Lets get straight to the point. No one has compensated me to investigate about you. You may not know me and you are most likely thinking why you are getting this e-mail?"
So someone has been investigating me, they know an old password and they are talking about compensation. Furthermore, the email was sent to the email account I exclusively use for my blogging. I've had a few threats over the years, but none with a valid social media password. Then I read the second paragraph.
"Let me tell you, I actually setup a malware on the xxx streaming (porn material) website and do you know what, you visited this web site to experience fun (you know what I mean). When you were viewing videos, your internet browser started out working as a Remote Desktop having a keylogger which provided me with accessibility to your display screen as well as webcam. Right after that, my software gathered all your contacts from your Messenger, FB, as well as e-mail . After that I made a double-screen video. First part displays the video you were watching (you've got a good taste omg), and next part shows the recording of your cam, and it is u."
At this point I rather relaxed. As I don't subscribe to any xxx porn streaming websites, I realised that this was a rather silly and crude attempt to extract some cash. What followed were some threats to send the video to all of my contacts and the second was to ask for a large sum of money. It also advised me not to contact the Police.

So of course I immediately reported it to the police. I did not respond to the email, I was further relieved that this morning, I saw that the Daily Express had picked up on the scam. They have some useful information on where to report it (https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/993251/porn-blackmail-scam-cyber-criminals-demanding-ransom)

The article interviewed Detective Constable Mark Agnew from Kent's cyber crime unit who said
"The people responsible for these scams email large numbers of people at a time, including those who do not visit pornographic websites. It is therefore doubtful they have the evidence they claim they have.  It is understandable that some people will be concerned about receiving this type of email, but paying only highlights that you are vulnerable and can be targeted again.  The internet is an incredible resource but comes with its own set of unique dangers that we all need to be aware of.  By following just a few simple measures we can protect ourselves from those who misuse technology in order to benefit from the misery of others."
So if you are unlucky enough to get such an email, don't worry. It is a load of cobblers. I would also suggest that if you do receive an email from anyone claiming that there is a video of me that you should watch, then they have already stated that they can download Trojans and Malware, so be extremely careful. The article states that the scammers have bought old lists of emails and passwords from the Dark Web.

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