The Newest Extortion Scams Are Using Your Own Passwords as Bait
As internet scams become more and more sophisticated extortion scammers have found another new piece of bait by which to hook internet users and that is with their old passwords. These extortion schemes often claim that someone has the person’s compromising information and that they are happy to help get that information back if the person is willing to pay them to do so.
Fearing that their information is going to be compromised, the person coughs up the cash in order to protect information that the person claimed they should protect. The catch? The entity that they claim meant harm never had any of the person’s information in the first place. People are then led to believe that there are scammers burrowed deep in their computers and that they are getting a hold of the person’s private information. Many scammers are even requiring the payments to be made in Bitcoin or they won’t go about doing “the job” of stopping these people who are said to have the person’s personal information (really they don’t have their information at all – the said person burrowing in the person’s computer doesn’t even exist).
What Can I Do To Avoid Being Scammed?
The following advice is offered to people who have had issues with these kinds of scammers in the past to help them avoid having issues with these same scammers in the future:
- Scammers will generally want to rush the person into making hasty decisions and will pressure you to pay them immediately for their “services”. However, if you have any feelings that the person with whom you are talking is not for sure authentic, authorities encourage you not to give them any information as it encourages them to keep on scamming other people after they are successful with you.
- Change your passwords immediately once you realize that you have been scammed. Moreover, use different passwords for all online accounts and be sure to require Two-Factor Authorization when it’s an option.
- Do not have any further communication with anyone who you think is a scammer.
- Always update your antivirus software and other operating systems to give the scammers less of a chance at getting at your personal information.
- Cover your webcam at all times when you are not using the device.
Remember, scammers only need to be successful with a fraction of the people with whom they engage in order to be successful at what they do. They will make this a lucrative process which will only continue encouraging them to scam more and more innocent, unassuming people into believing their lies.
In the end, the next scamming issue is the fact that these people claim to have your old passwords and will use that as bait to try to get you to pay them to help “protect your personal information” as they will claim. In these cases, these people don’t have any of your personal information in the first place. They are simply scammers out trying to get money off of you and they will do absolutely nothing for you in return.
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