Would you pay large sums of money to people you don't know, just because they've sent you an e-mail in which they claim to have photographed or filmed you while watching pornography? Of course not. But what if you were actually on such a website shortly before?
This scam is called “fake sextortion” and is designed to make you believe that criminals have hacked into your mobile phone or PC through an advertisement on the website and taken pictures of you. They threaten to publish them if you don’t pay them. They usually ask for payment in Bitcoins so that the recipient remains anonymous and the transaction cannot be traced.
These email threats are sent to as many people as possible in the hope that the recipient has been to websites with pornographic content shortly before. This scam rakes in millions of dollars worldwide. It works because some people have actually visited such websites shortly before receiving these e-mails. They are ashamed and frightened by this attempted blackmail.
You should never pay the money, whatever the circumstances. Blackmailers will demand more money after each transfer and claim to still be in possession of the photos and videos. In fact they never actually had them.
- Never transfer money as a result of pressure from an e-mail. Ignore it and talk to someone you trust.
- Never click on a link in unusual or dubious e-mails, and never give information such as your login.