Police say a new scam uses embarrassing information to extort victims.
The scam has been reported several times in Tulsa in the last few days.
This scam gets really personal, really fast. Police say the worst part is that, initially, it comes off as pretty believable, which is why it works.
The scam is received through an e-mail, in which the scammer writes, “The truth is, I actually set up Malware on Porn vids and Guess what? You visited some adult website to experience fun (You get my drift).”
Sergeant Brandon Watkins with the Tulsa Police Department says police have received at least four reports of the scam in just the last few days.
“The person in the e-mail is claiming that they have hacked their phones and hacked their computers, turned on the webcams, and have pictures of them, you know, doing various things in the nude,” said Sgt. Watkins.
In the e-mail, the scammer refers to that video, saying “1st part displays the video you were viewing and next part displays the video of your web camera.”
“She was traumatized by this and you could tell that this was something that was almost making her hysterical when you read the report,” stated Watkins. “If you look at the four reports we’ve had so far, you have to assume that there’s probably 100 people out there who haven’t reported it because they are embarrassed.”
The e-mail goes on to demand about $2,000 in Bitcoin and gives a time-limit before the scammer says they’ll send that nasty video to all of the people in your phone, e-mail, and on social media.
“She was about to pay,” said Watkins. “I mean, they gave her a time-limit and they said ‘if you don’t pay by a certain time-limit’ or ‘a certain amount of time,’ and I can completely understand that.”
So far, police say they don’t have any reports of anyone actually following through with the payments.
Watkins says if you see this kind of e-mail, trash it – they don’t have a video and they haven’t hacked you.