A threatening scam is popping up in email inboxes again, and this is one that might catch you off guard. A woman reached out to me after she got an inappropriate email.
“This is kind of crazy, but they said, ‘We have video of you pleasuring yourself and we are videoing you all the time, and if you don’t pay us, then we will publish all this online,’ ” Carol said. “It had three different links to three different bitcoin websites.
“It went on to say, ‘We know your password. … We know the passwords to all of your accounts.’ ”
The scammers try to make their aggressive email more believable by including one of your old passwords, which they could have gotten from a large data breach .
I warned you about this scam before, when another viewer named Donna reached out to me after she got an email claiming to have video of her visiting inappropriate websites. The scammer told her to send thousands of dollars or they would send the video to all of her contacts. The crooks are trying to scare you into paying them money right away.
“I just thought it was nasty and weird and I knew it was a scam, so the first thing I did was delete it from my email, and I went into my trash and deleted it,” said Carol. “You feel violated. You feel like your privacy has been invaded.”
Carol told me she’s planning on changing her passwords, which is a good idea. Don’t panic if you get this email, just delete it and block the sender. If it’s threatening, you can report it to local law enforcement or to the FBI at fbi.gov.
I’m also hearing about a new variation of another scam. It’s where the caller claims you’re going to be arrested. Listen to this one: “This is from Homeland Security and Detective John Julian. He wants to tell me the local police department has arrested people and my name has come up,” James told me. “I have a lot of exposure, a lot of information out there now and he needs me to call him.”
James knew it was a scam, so he didn’t fall for it, but he wanted to warn others about this one. Again, don’t let the callers scare you into giving out personal information or money. You can always call police or deputies using a trusted number to see if they are trying to get a hold of you for some reason.
And a quick note after Hurricane Dorian: Keep an eye out for any scam phone calls asking to raise money to help the victims. Make sure to research any charities that are asking you for money.
Finally, I wanted to let you know about an event in our area that means a lot to our newsroom. Fellow investigative reporter Dustin Cuzick died in July after a fight with kidney disease. The 2019 Southern Colorado Kidney Walk is taking place Sept. 22 at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs. If you’d like to learn more about the National Kidney Foundation or register to walk, head to kidney.org.