The RCMP in Manitoba have started to receive reports of a cyber-extortion where suspects are sending emails to victims that reference a real password. The email states the suspect has infected the victim’s computer with a virus that has allowed the suspect to control the webcam. The suspect threatens to release a video of the victim taken while they were watching pornography to the victim’s contact list. If the victim pays a certain amount in Bitcoin, then the suspect will not release the video. This is a scam that has been around for a while. The suspects do not have video of the victims, and victims should not be afraid to report this crime to the police.
What is causing some new attention to this previously seen scam is the use of an actual password the victim has used in the past. There are many ways the suspects could have gained access to these passwords – data breaches and hacking are two examples. If you are still using the referenced password for anything, make sure you change it immediately. It is recommended to change all passwords regularly to protect yourself from any type of hacking or scam. The web resource www.haveibeenpwned.com is a great way to check if your data has been breached.
It can be startling to see an email with your password in it from someone threatening you. The RCMP does not want you to become a victim. If you have received this email, or any similar emails, DO NOT PAY and make sure you report it to the police so we are aware of the scams targeting our communities. Also, report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.