Sextortion emails have become commonplace as a way to blackmail people into parting with their money. Most people are unaware of what a sextortion scam is and how these tricksters carry out their operation.
In this guide, you will learn what a sextortion email is and how you should respond to one.
What is a Sextortion Email?
A sextortion scam email is a threat made by a scammer who claims to have filmed you through your webcam while you were consuming pornographic content and claims to release that footage if they are not paid in bitcoin.
Here, you can see two examples of the sextortion emails that were sent to our editor-in-chief.
In the case of the sextortion scam, hackers will usually claim to have hacked your email account or gained access to your computer through other means. And these emails are sometimes sent randomly, even to those who have never visited a pornography site.
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Anyone who believes these threats and sends money to these tricksters is falling victim to fraud. Now the question is, what can you do with such emails?
Simple. Ignore them!
Additionally, there are a number of safety precautions you can take when you receive such emails.
Sextortion scam emails can come with a link to an attachment that you would be asked to click on. A mistake some people make is to open the link. That act can give hackers access to your computer, thereby putting them in a better position to blackmail.
Avoid opening the links or attachment sent to you because it will either redirect you to a fake website, which will make your system open to malware or you may end up giving them your personal information.
Don’t Comply With Their Demands
Sextortion scam emails don’t come without demands. These scammers will always request that you pay them a certain amount of money to keep them from spreading videos or images of you watching pornography.
Fortunately, these emails are empty threats. So, don’t give in to their demands and just ignore the email.
Do a Security Check
After receiving such emails, you could run a security check on your computer for peace of mind.
The check is to ensure you have not downloaded a file automatically when you opened the email. That could create a loophole for hackers to penetrate your computer. You should also immediately delete and ban the email address. You can also install security software on your computer or mobile device for added security.
Google the Email Sent to you
You can easily find out if such an email has already been identified as a scam. You can copy one or two sentences of the email sent and paste in the Google search box to search the web.
Usually, other people have gotten the same email and have reported it on social media or in forums.
Do Not Respond
The best way to respond to a sextortion email scam is for you not to respond at all. If you happen to get such messages, ignore them or delete them from your inbox.
Sextortion emails can be scary for first-time recipients. A threat to release embarrassing videos and images could negatively impact one’s reputation. But do not be deceived by these emails, they are only out to extort money from you.
The best way to respond to these emails is not to respond at all and delete them.