Porn email warning – Gmail and Hotmail users put on alert as terrifying scams revealed

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Email users, including those who access messages via Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo, are being warned to be on alert for shocking “sextortion” messages.

There’s a growing trend in cybercriminals using this terrifying method to extract cash from innocent internet users.

The message works by claiming to have video footage filmed of people accessing adult websites via their laptop’s webcam.

It’s then stated that unless the victim pays a ransom the recording and images of the page they were looking at will be released to everyone in their contacts.

One email, seen by Express.co.uk, reads: “Let’s get right to point. You may not know me and you are most likely wondering why you’re getting this e mail?

“I set up a malwarę on the 18+ streaming (pornographĭc materĭal) web site and guess what, yőų visited this sitę to ęxperĭence fun (you know what I mean).

“While you were watching videos, your web browser began operating as a Ręmote control Desktop having a key loggęr which provided me with accessibilĭty to your screen and webcam. immędiatęly after that, my softwarę obtaĭned yoųr entire contacts from yoųr Messenger, social networks, and email.

“Next I created a double vĭdeo. 1st part shows the video you werę viewing and 2nd part shows the vĭew of yoųr web camęra, and it’s you.

“Neglęct this email message, I most certainly will send out your very own recorded material to each of your pęrsonal contacts and imagine aboųt thę disgrace you can get.

“2nd option should be to give me $1486.”

According to the team at Symantec, these scams are on the rise with the firm blocking some 300 million emails in the first part of 2019.

Cleary, getting a message that suggests your personal web browsing is about to be revealed to the world is hugely distressing and it seems some people are paying out.

Reports estimate that scammers are making just over $1.2 million in a year and there’s a good reason why.

The emails often use clever tactics such as including a users password in the message or a partial phone number.

This is included to make it appear the attacker has access to private information about the recipient – when in fact they almost certainly obtained it from one of the many large password dumps of recent years.

It’s worth remembering that it’s highly unlikely that your webcam has been used to record you or that the cybercriminal has any access to your browser data or your contacts.

These messages are simply sent to millions of people in the hope that some will be too scared to take the risk that it’s a scam.

Most modern email services will know if this is a scam with platforms, such as Gmail, now alerting users to the issue and warning them that the message could be dangerous.

However, if you have been targeted, Symantec is offering this advice on how to protect your online accounts.

• Ensure you have strong email protection technologies in place that will stop these emails from ever reaching your inbox.

• Do not open emails or attachments, or click on links in emails, that are unsolicited or from unknown sources.

• If you do receive one of these emails, do not panic, do not respond, do not click any links or open any attachments, and do not send money to the attackers. Mark the email as spam and, if you feel it is necessary, alert authorities about the email.

• Ensure all your online accounts are protected with strong, unique passwords, and enable two-factor authentication where possible. If you think your account has been compromised or your password revealed in a password dump, you should change it immediately.

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