Cyber crime scammers blackmail South Yorkshire residents over porn

South Yorkshire Police has issued a warning to residents about cyber criminals who are trying to trick victims into believing they have been filmed on their computer watching porn.

Thursday, 16th April 2020, 5:59 pm
Updated Friday, 17th April 2020, 11:31 am
A police warning has been issued about cyber crime scammers blackmailing South Yorkshire residents.

The force has received 15 reports of a similar nature in the past week, with the victims being told the ‘footage’ will be sent to all their contacts if they do not pay a fine.

In some cases, the fraudsters make the threats seem even more believable by sending their message from what appears to be the victim's own email account, and revealing the password.

Cyber Protect Officer Dannielle Lee, from South Yorkshire Police’s digital investigations and intelligence team, said: “The emails claim the victim has been filmed on their computer watching porn and demand payment of up to $3,000 in Bitcoin.

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“Scams like this are known as 'sextortion', which is the practice of extorting money from somebody by threatening to reveal evidence of their sexual activity.

“Whether or not the victim realises this is a scam, the email can be very unsettling to receive - especially when the criminals seem to know your password, are demanding high payments and have given a strict deadline.

“Thankfully, none of the people who have reported this scam to us has lost any money.

“Action Fraud - the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre - suspects the fraudsters may have gained victims' passwords from an old data breach. If you have had an email like this I'd recommend you change your password as soon as possible to ensure you are secure.”