Sextortion is the process of threatening to release compromising images, audio or sex-related information about a person unless they pay money to stop the release. It’s among the oldest forms of criminal extortion, and it’s not new to the realm of technology and electronics. As with just about any kind of technology, scammers are always improving their technique and approach.
The latest kind of scam adds an extra level of fear to the pot by demonstrating that it has your password. Learn about this newest sextortion password scam, what to do if you are targeted by this scam, and how to protect yourself from scammers in the future.
Sextortion Password Scam
There’s a lot of power in your password. After all, it’s the gateway to all of your personal information, your email, your social media accounts, even your bank and credit card accounts. There’s a reason why passwords have gotten longer and more onerous as the years go by.
The most recent sextortion password scam works when the scammer proves to you that they have your password. Usually it will be included in the contact e-mail they send, along with a claim that they have a double-screen video of you watching porn, and a threat that if you don’t send them a bitcoin payment, they’ll release it to everyone in your contacts.
Don’t Fall for the Scam
In almost every single case, the password included with the contact email was over 10 years old. Now, if you haven’t changed your password in ten years, this could still be current. Also, you really should change your password more often. There have been a ton of data breaches over the past decade which can provide this information to scammers, and a ton of unscrupulous online services that can search compromised passwords.
In general, this is a huge scare tactic. Change your passwords regularly, and definitely as soon as you get such an email, and don’t respond to the scammers. It’s highly unlikely that they actually have compromising video of you, and they’re more likely to move onto the next victim than they are to cause you trouble for not playing their game.
Opening Yourself Up for More
There’s an old adage that you should never pay a ransom, because it’s just a door to more ransom demands. If you pay these scammers, they can just ask you for more money again in the future. On the off chance that they do actually have some sort of video, we live in a world where to be honest, it’s not all that shocking.
The truth is, these scams are just that: scams. They’re designed to scare you, and if someone is willing to extort money out of you, they’re willing to lie to get it. Don’t pay the demand, don’t respond. Simply forward the email to your IT security specialist and have it added to their warning list.
If you’d like more information about cyber security, the latest scams, and how you can protect yourself, check out the US Computer blog. Then, get in touch with us for more information today!