It’s happened to many of us: receiving an email with a concerning or strange message. Jessie Schmidt, state director for the Better Business Bureau in South Dakota, says an aggressive scam is on the rise.
“So what happens is you receive an email that tells you, ‘Hey, I have video of you watching pornography. We, I have access to all your contacts, your passwords, your email, and it doesn’t make any difference if you change all of that, because I’m in your operating system. So I know all, and I can see all. And so you need to send me money via Bitcoin, or I’m going to post this out on your Facebook,'” Schmidt said.
Schmidt says your information was likely acquired via the dark web. It’s possible the suspect has an old password, maybe an old email address. But, Schmidt says, they’re not likely to have a whole lot more.
“And they’re just hoping you’re going to take the bait. And people do, but we would encourage people to please, just delete these,” Schmidt said. “The majority of the time, they’ve got nothing. You can report them to the authorities if you like. We would suggest the FBI, as they’re working to gain that data.”
These kinds of messages have become more common.
“With technology, you can send out hundreds of thousands of emails with a button, and they’re going to go far and wide, so they’re happening everywhere,” Schmidt said. “We’ve just seen an uptick in that really the last few weeks.”
Check out the Better Business Bureau’s website for ways to help protect information.