DONEGAL Gardaí have warned people to be aware of ‘extortion’ emails that are circulating among the public.
Several concerned members of the public have contacted Gardaí in relation to the emails.
“These sort of emails have been doing the rounds for a while and by their very design they create a feeling of fear and panic in whoever receives them,” Gardaí say.
“One of the emails pictured did contain an actual password that the person concerned has used in the distant past and the other contained a made up password that the receiver of the email has never used.
“Criminals do not need any hacking skills to pull off an extortion scam. They often rely on leaked email addresses stolen from huge companies and email providers over the last decade or so.
“Sometimes scammers might even buy passwords associated with the email accounts concerned and then add that password in the email they send you in order to add a feeling of authenticity.
“This then increases the panic that you feel when you receive the email and the scammer’s plan has started to work.
“The scammers will falsely claim that they have used the password to access sensitive information about you. Our advice is firstly and most importantly, do not panic.”
Gardaí advise the public never to give these people what they are seeking (for example, cash or bit coin payment) and not to click on any links included.
Gardaí add: “If a password is mentioned in the email that you do still use then please change the password on all of your online accounts immediately to be safe.
“Should you have fallen victim already and have already paid the fee that they demanded then please alert Gardaí. These emails are very threatening in nature and can cause a lot of worry and upset for anyone who receives them.
“Please do not worry if you receive an email of this nature. Stay calm because It is most certainly a scam. Keep yourself informed in relation to scams and please inform others also.
“These emails are generated randomly and even if you have the most innocent browsing history in the world, an email such as this could create a fear in you that your accounts have been hacked.”Tags: