So, you may or may not visit sensitive websites every now and again. But, what happens when a hacker tries to blackmail you with “proof” of you on a sensitive website? This is a classic case of extortion with a twist.
How it works
1. A bad guy sends you an email that appears to be sent from your own email address.
2. In the email, they claim to have compromising content of you.
3. They demand money – usually cryptocurrency. If you pay the bill, they won’t distribute the compromising content to others
The bad guy doesn’t actually have the compromising content that they claim – do not send them money! Either delete the email or follow the reporting procedures put in place by your organization.
Tips to avoid extortion
Although the above scam is not real, legitimate extortion is a serious internet crime that can lead to devastating consequences for victims.
According to the FBI, here are some things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of extortion:
• Never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they are — or who they say they are.
• 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, these attacks are only successful if we fall for them. Stay alert and be cautious!