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Police alert over new on-line extortion scam 

The National Police are warning of a new criminal form of extortion on-line.

Agents specialised in fighting cybercrime have detected a considerable increase in cases of this variety of “sextorsión”, in which criminals send emails that include personal passwords of victims. The email account redesabiertas@policia.es receives about 100 communications per day on possible cases that are analyed individually.

The well-known “sextorsión” is a type of extortion developed in recent years through the internet. It consists in threatening the users with the publication of photos, videos or information about their privacy, obtained without prior consent, and they request an economic amount in exchange for not making it public.

The scammers tell their victims that they have obtained the password of their emails or they claim to have installed malware on a pornographic web pages supposedly visited. They are also told that they have obtained personal images or videos after activating their computer’s webcam when they visited those pages.

The “extortionists” request payments in bitcoins to different virtual purses so as not to spread the images, having to pay between 400 and 2,900 dollars. The victims have a margin of 24 hours to make the payment indicating that, in case of not doing so, they will spread the videos to their acquaintances.

National Police warn that it is really a social engineering campaign. There is no video of the users threatened or malware installed on the web pages allegedly visited, only having as a data of the victims a fraudulently obtained password. Apparently, the password would have been obtained due to massive leaks that occurred years ago on the Internet, which is why the password provided to users, which they claim to have obtained by using malicious software, is nothing other than a password.

The National Police say……..

1. Do not be alarmed or consider the threat as real.

2. Do not make any requested payment.

3. Don’t reply to the mail or received mails or engage in any type of conversation with the “extortionists”.

4. Block and mark as spam the sender of the emails.

5. Distrust any mail that may seem strange and of unknown origin

6. Do not “click” on links of the received mail body.

7. Do not open attachments sent from the received email.

8. Renew the password of email, computer and computer applications regularly and establish strong passwords.

9. Keep the computer equipment updated.