PEOPLE in Bradford have been warned over a Bitcoin sextortion email scam which has continued during the coronavirus crisis.
The phishing scam, first identified by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) in July 2018, continues to be reported to Action Fraud in high numbers.
So far this month, Action Fraud has received 9,473 reports of this email scam, with 200 reports made in the last week.
The emails contain the victim’s own password in the subject line and demand a payment in Bitcoin to prevent videos of the victim, on their computer visiting adult websites, being shared.
⚠️ Alert: So far this month, we’ve received over 9,000 reports about #sextortion emails!
If you get one, do not reply or be pressured into paying.
— Action Fraud (@actionfrauduk) April 23, 2020
Pauline Smith, head of Action Fraud, said: “Sextortion scams are a type of phishing attack where people are coerced to pay a ransom, normally in Bitcoin.
“The messages can look particularly convincing because they often include the recipient’s genuine password.
“The criminals sending these emails are ruthless, unscrupulous individuals who don’t care about the impact of their actions on victims.
“They seek to exploit people’s emotions – shaming and scaring the recipient enough, that they make a payment.
“If you receive an email that threatens you, your family, or your property in any way, and asks you to make a Bitcoin payment, don’t take the bait.”
Action Fraud have warned people not reply to the email or click on any links contained within it. Instead, report it to: email@example.com and then delete it.
Do not be tempted to make the Bitcoin payment. Doing so may encourage the criminal to contact you again for more money.
If you have made the Bitcoin payment, then report it to your local police force by calling 101.
Action Fraud is the reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime committed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It has been set up for the reporting of incidents in which people have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime.
Anyone with any experiences of any of the scams can report them to @actionfrauduk or call 0300 123 2040.
For more information, go to: actionfraud.police.uk/sextortion