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Voice of the Consumer: Scammers getting more brazen with threatening email

April 15, 2018 Updated: April 16, 2018 at 3:09 pm
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Have you noticed scammers are being more invasive and more threatening? You won't believe some of the emails we got this week. A Colorado Springs man reached out to our 11 Call for Action team because he got an email from scammers saying they had a provocative video of him. Then, I got a similar email soon after.

The scammer sent Harold an email claiming they recorded a provocative video of him using his computer camera. The crooks demand money from him in order to delete the video. "They wanted $180 and it had to be deposited in three days or it was going to show up on everybody on my contact list," said Harold.

Harold knew it was a scam right away. He reached out to our Call for Action team to let us know about the strange email. "It just wastes my time, everybody's time. It's just ludicrous," said Harold.

He was shocked by the graphic nature of the email and the threatening wording. "Get real. Get serious. Go find a real job," said Harold. One way he could tell it was a scam is by the sender's email address. It had several numbers and letters and did not look legitimate.

Soon after we heard from Harold, I got a similar email that was sent to my work email address. The email said, "Your life can be destroyed, everything is in your hands." I was a little shocked by the title. The email said they have "compromising evidence" of me using a provocative website. The scammer then told me I had to pay $350 in Bitcoin in order for them to delete the records.

I knew it was a scam because of the outrageous claims and the several spelling and grammar errors throughout the message. Still, I couldn't believe how crass the scammers were in the email. I warned my co-workers about the scam and told them that we keep hearing about more and more threatening emails lately.

Make sure to tell your friends and family to watch out for threatening calls and emails. Let them know scammers are going to greater lengths to frighten you. The best thing to do is block the email address and delete the email.

As a bonus this week, I also want to warn you about the IRS scam again. A lot of you are calling our newsroom to let us know that you are getting the phone calls again. We know the scammers are out in full force right now because it's tax season. The IRS is NOT calling you - it's just a scam! IRS agents tell me that you will never be notified that you owe taxes over the phone; you will always get a notification in the mail first. Remember to file your taxes by Tuesday and keep an eye out for scammers.

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