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Police issue warning over new online sextortion scam 

Police have issued an urgent warning over a new sextortion which claims people in confinement are looking at online porn sites and threatens to release sex videos unless they pay a “ransom”.

National police in Spain say the
COVID-19  lockdown has seen a major escalation in blackmail attempts, with
more than 1,000 people reporting they have received an extortion email in just
four days.

The warnings, written in English, say they
have hacked the owner’s computer by obtaining their passwords. They claim the
person has visited a porn site and have found all their contacts from
Messenger, Facebook and email. The sender says they have recorded the site
being watched by their victim and also their own webcam.

The sender them demands a payment of around
£1,000, payable via Bitcoins, or they would send the videos to ten of the
victim’s contacts.

“This is a non-negotiable offer!”
the  message warns.

A spokesman for the Spanish police said:
“Sextortion is a type of online blackmail and, in the detected mode,
cybercriminals indicate that they are aware that the user has visited
pornographic content pages and, under the threat of spreading that fact to
their contacts, they urge them to enter around 1,500 dollars in bitcoins in a
virtual wallet.”

They say anyone getting the email should not
be alarmed or consider the threat to be real and not to make any payment.

“Don’t answer the emails or start any
type of conversation with the extortionists,” say the police. “Block
and mark the sender of the emails as spam, do not click on any links and do not
open attachments.”

Victims are also being advised to change the
password of their emails and computer on a regular basis and make them as
strong as possible.