Cyber criminals are getting nastier and stooping to new lows to get what they want from hapless victims. In the latest turn of events they are blackmailing victims by telling them they will divulge embarrassing details about them to their families and friends.
They often demand around £250 pounds or more in exchange for their ‘silence’ and threatening victims even in instances where a person has done nothing wrong, according to a report.
So, what exactly are they blackmailing people with? Apparently, these lowly crooks are accusing their victims of watching adult or porn websites and claiming that this has all been caught on camera.
To try and convince the victim that their blackmail threat holds any clout they will typically also include personal details and information about the victim to add to the maliciousness of it all. However, this type of information is easily obtained online. And while this shouldn’t panic people into giving any attention to the threats it clearly works on some.
Luckily most people are ignoring these messages (and rightly so) but there are some that have fallen victim to this latest cyber-crime spin.
But these criminals know that they will not get everyone on their ‘hit list’ to panic and fall for their ransom demands. They only really need a few to fall for this tactic in order to get the thousands of pounds they need to fund whatever dastardly thing they do.
And they’re likely to go back to their gullible victims for more too. According to the Daily Mail’s report, once the criminals have you believing in their vile intentions they will then add you to a ‘sucker list’, and then make further demands and threats.
So, what should you do if you’re concerned that you may get yourself wrapped up in such a scam? The obvious thing is to ignore the threats when they come. Don’t click on any emails that you don’t recognize or check the sender to see if their details match the company and business they claim to be from.
Updating your virus software is paramount too, as is getting expert specialist advice if you still feel that you or your business is exposed.
An expert quoted in the article also suggests putting tape over any cameras on your devices so that you can rest assured that no one is ‘watching you’.
To be absolutely sure that you haven’t had your data compromised the other suggestion is to slot your personal email address into the website haveibeenpwned.com. It will then tell you if your information has been leaked.
Cyber criminals are getting ever more sophisticated and wilier as people catch on to their most basic scams. As a result, they need to constantly change their tactics to get what they want.
Protecting your business, however big or small it is, in this day and age is a vital thing to do. You never know when or in what form the next attack may come. Everyone is vulnerable if cyber-attacks on the National Health Service and, more recently, British Airways is anything to go by.
Don’t stick your head in the sand. Cyber criminals are smart and, as you can see, will go to any lengths to get money out of you.