Cyber scams have earned criminals $1.2 million in Bitcoin through so-called “sextortion” scams in the last year, according to a July 30, 2019 reports from cybersecurity company Symantec.
Sextortion scammers send their victims emails that include an old internet password in the subject line, thus claiming their device or account has been compromised. Further along, the message states the scammer has possession of photos or videos of their victim studying porn online. The implication is that their webcam was hacked.
In other instances, emails claiming to be from law enforcement say they found child pornography on the device.
The recipient is then told to send a requested amount of Bitcoin to the address provided or compromising images will be sent to friends, relatives or coworkers. Some of these messages ask for as much as $708.
Symantec recommends that consumers take care to secure themselves and their email. They advise you to use caution, do not to open emails from unknown senders or links and attachments from untrusted sources.
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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers’ State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!