New Hampshire’s attorney general is warning of a so-called “sexploitation” scam after authorities fielded reports from Granite Staters about the issue over the past week.
Victims receive emails with a current or former password in the subject line, suggesting the sender had hacked into their computers and taken control of their webcams, according to a news release from Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald.
The emails claim to have recorded the victims visiting pornographic websites and threaten to send videos of this to the person’s phone and Facebook contacts unless the scammer receives a transfer of $2,000 in bitcoin within 24 hours, the release says.
It’s not clear how the scammers get the password information, according to the release, which notes that this con has existed in different forms for years.
Here are some tips MacDonald’s office suggests to avoid becoming a victim:
Don’t send money or personal information to anyone you don’t know, and if you get an email seeking either, delete it right away.
If you receive a sexploitation email, change all of your passwords immediately. Even if you don’t get this type of email, it’s a good idea to change online passwords every few months, use strong passwords and steer clear of using the same ones for numerous accounts.
“Any request to purchase bitcoin or gift cards made telephonically or online should be considered to be a scam,” the release says.