Jim Wilson / The New York Times
Thursday, April 16, 2020 | 18:05
The threats sent by email are scary: pay or we will release intimate personal video recordings from your cell phone to your closest contacts.
It is also credible, according to Metro Police, because scammers sometimes obtain certain data on large-scale breaches, such as passwords and phone numbers, to make it appear that they have more information than they do.
The police said the racket is a growing online trend called “sextortion” and advised the alleged victims not to pay the so-called ransom.
“Extortion is a type of e-mail fraud in which cyber criminals try to extort money from victims by claiming to have a recording of them involved in intimate acts,” the police said. Attackers demand money in exchange for not leaking files within 24 to 48 hours.
“Cybercriminals play on emotions to get victims out of their money, which is why it is crucial that you assess the situation and not just hand over your money in a panic,” the police wrote in a public service announcement.
The Metro Cyber Investigation Group and the FBI have received an increase in these reports.
The police provided tips on how to stay away from compromising positions:
• Do not comply with threats by email, or send money or gift cards.
• Use strong and unique passwords for each account and change them frequently.
• Use multi-factor authentication.
• Cover webcams when you are not using them.
• Check haveibeenpwned.com or dehashed.com to see if your email address has been compromised.
To register a report, visit ic3.gov/default.aspx.