Police in Fairfield County are warning residents of recently reported "sextortion" phishing scams and remind them of important safety tips to avoid being scammed.
According to Fairfield Police Chief Christopher Lyddy, in recent weeks, the Connecticut Intelligence Center (CTIC) has received reports of "sextortion" scams that involve victims receiving an email from a purported hacker claiming to have hacked their computer and filmed them watching pornography.
The scammer then threatens to forward the material to all of the victim's contacts unless the victim pays a Bitcoin ransom, Lyddy said.
The email received by the victim oftentimes addresses the victim by name and references one of their passwords, often in the subject line.
It is believed that the extortion scam is particularly convincing because scammers have been able to get a hold of legitimate usernames and passwords of the victim through hacking and large data breaches.
Fairfield Police would like to advise residents that the most important thing to do if you receive an email similar to this, is to never pay the ransom.
Additionally, if the password emailed to you by the scammers is a password you currently use for any type of account, stop using it and change it immediately.
Fairfield Police said the most important way to avoid being scammed is to never respond to emails from people you don't know.
Other tips include:
- Pay close attention to the subject line, email address, and grammar as these are often preliminary ways to tell that an email is a scam.
- If an email, email attachment, or link seems suspicious, do not open it, even if antivirus software indicates that it is safe.
Any Fairfield resident who believes they have been contacted by a potential scammer, or who believes they may have been a victim of such a scam, should contact the Fairfield Police Department at 203-254-4800.
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