LAMORINDA, CA — The Lafayette Police Department is warning East Bay residents about an email scam that demands $2,000 in bitcoins, or the sender will release a compromising video. Police have taken several reports in the past week.
According to police, “This scam email is mostly general; however, they personalize it by providing a true password of the individual receiving the email. The compromised information is typically the result of what is commonly called a “man-in-the-middle” attach.”
According to Lafayette Police, the Federal Trade Commission warns that reports of Bitcoin blackmail scams have taken “a big jump in the last few weeks. The emails say they hacked into your computer and recorded you visiting adult websites. They threaten to distribute the video to your friends and family within hours, unless you pay into their Bitcoin account. Stop. Don’t pay anything. Delete the message. It’s a scam.”
In addition, the police department recommends you change your compromised password, and “consider informing the company the password corresponds to.” If you used the same password on multiple sites, change all of them and use unique passwords.
The increase in emails may be the result of a recent data breach.
If you receive a scam email, file a complaint with the FTC .