Cyber criminals are attempting to blackmail unsuspecting victims by claiming to have used the victims’ password to install spying malware on the victims’ computer.

The criminals claim they’ve recorded videos of the victim watching adult material by activating their webcam when they visit these websites.

What makes this scam so convincing is that the email usually includes a genuine password the victim has used for one of their online accounts. Action Fraud believe that the criminals have obtained passwords through previous high-profile data breaches (these are unrelated to any services you may have with O’Brien Media Limited)

What to do if you get one of these emails?

Don’t reply to the email, or be pressured into paying. The police advise that you do not pay criminals. Try flagging the email as spam/junk if you receive it multiple times. Perform a password reset as soon as possible on any accounts where you’ve used the password mentioned in the email. Always use a strong, separate password for important accounts, such as your email. Where available, enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Always install the latest software and app updates. Install, or enable, anti-virus software on your laptops and computers and keep it updated.

Remember:

  • don’t email the fraudsters back
  • update your anti-virus software and operating systems regularly
  • cover your webcam when not in use

If you receive one of these emails, report it to Action Fraud’s phishing reporting tool. If you have received one of these emails and paid the ransom, report it to your local police force.

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