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'Sextortion' email hitting Arizona inboxes

Posted at 3:33 AM, Aug 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 06:34:19-04

Would you pay a hacker not to release embarrassing information about you?

Scammers across the country are sending bogus emails to try and find out.

ABC15 viewer Kevin let me know he received an email that says he visited a porn site. they have pictures of him from his webcam and they want money to keep it quiet. The demand has risen from $900, to $1900 to $2900. He writes, "I did not visit any porn site and this scam is getting annoying. Any suggestions?"

It's called sextortion. It's an old scam we're seeing a lot of right now and Kevin has already followed my first suggestion: don't pay. 

Malware does exist that could allow a hacker into your computer's camera.  But that's no reason to give into these clowns.

Digital security expert website says the email often includes an old password you used to use; making the threat seem even more real.

It's not.  

Krebs says the hackers likely got your information from a hacked website.

So what can you do?

  • Put tape over your webcam. That's just creepy.
  • If you get the email, take your computer to get checked out for any malware
  • Make all your passwords have two-factor authentication 
  • Finally tell the scammer you're reporting them to the FBI--then really do it.

    Click here to file a report with the FBI.