Queensland Police have identified an increase in extortion emails demanding payment to bitcoin accounts.
Scammers are sending ransom emails containing terrifying threats designed to frighten people into handing over their money. These emails have been linked to similar campaigns around the world regarding sextortion, bomb hoaxes, fake hitman emails and more recently acid attack threats.
Before allowing yourself to become spooked by the idea that someone is going to harm you, take a minute to re-read the e-mail, this time looking for any indications the sender actually knows anything about you:
Are you addressed by name?
Does the sender mention a location you frequent as one of the places they’ve followed you?
Does the sender demonstrate they know your address or your phone number?
Does the sender name your place of business?
Does the sender mention any of your family members by name?
What you should do if you receive any type of extortion email:
- Delete the email immediately. These messages are sent at random, so they won’t know if they have reached a live email address or number unless you respond.
- Do NOT respond to these emails. If you do, the scammers will escalate their intimidation and attempts to get your money.
- Never send details or personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust.
- Use spam filters and be cautious when opening emails, especially if there are attachments.
If you are concerned for your safety, contact the police immediately.
For more information about these email please visit https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/alert-service/bomb-threat-email-campaign
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.
You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.