Police warn of email extortion scams

Police warn of email extortion scams

computer cybercrime
A man using a laptop. (File photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Police Force has warned the public about scams involving extortion through email.

In a press release on Monday (Oct 29), the police said that they have received more than 15 police reports since September involving victims who received emails from unknown email accounts or those resembling their own.

The scammers would typically claim they possessed screenshots of the victims watching pornographic material, and threaten to expose them to their family and friends unless they make a Bitcoin payment.

In some cases, the victims were told that their computers had been infected with malware that monitored their online activities. 

In others, the scammers claimed that they had the victim's email account password, or had obtained the victim's contacts from social networking platforms, in order to add a sense of legitimacy to their threats.

The police advised the public to ignore any instruction to make payments and to cover the camera of their computers when it is not being used to protect their privacy.

Other precautions include keeping their computers' and mobile devices' security up to date, and enabling the Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) function on their email accounts, if offered by the service provider.

Source: CNA/nh(hm)

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