I remember a few years back… my Father-In-Law was one of the first folks to get the “Canada Revenue Agency” call, saying that he owed money, he was in big trouble, and they were sending a police officer to arrest him. Now it seems like everyone is getting those calls… but at the time, we jumped in our car, and drove to his house, as fast as we could, to be there, just in case… and it left us, unsettled.
Today was my turn.
I got an email, saying that I had clicked on a link that gave someone access to my webcam, and my contacts, and unless I paid $300 USD (in Bitcoin) to them, they would send embarrassing video to everyone in my contact list… and, as the owner of a business, how this embarrassment would affect my company, and brand.
As I don’t have a webcam on any of my desktop or laptop computers, I deleted the email, and went about my day.
A short time later, I thought about it some more, and realized my ipad has a forward-facing camera, and theoretically could have been compromised.
Having said that:
I’m not paying.
I don’t like extortion, I don’t like bullies, and spammers and scammers suck.
I believe it is a scam…. and several days later, there have been no further developments.
I have posted a notice, letting my friends know, that if they get an email, saying there are compromising pictures of Bob, with a link… that they should “flush” it. Clicking on, or connecting to, a questionable link is ALWAYS a bad idea… and when you KNOW it is a bad link, an even worse idea.
I have contacted the RCMP… although there is nothing to give any leads in the email. The address is either spoofed or hacked. The only valid information in the email, would be the BitCoin account number, and that isn’t trackable.
I’ll say it again… Spammers and Scammers SUCK..
If you ever get anything similar, here are the prescribed steps, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre:
If you were the victim of fraud or extortion, please contact your local police.
Additionally, there are a number of other agencies that may be able to assist.
The following list is provided as a starting point: Financial institution, credit card company, insurance company, telephone company, Provincial Consumer Protection Agency, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre.
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca)
- RCMP Scams page (http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-fraudes/index-eng.htm)
- Competition Bureau (http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/h_00122.html)
- OPP fraud prevention (https://www.opp.ca/index.php?id=115&lng=en&entryid=573e164b8f94ac69670ca89a)
If you want to see the text of the email, click here.
Oh, and if you are disappointed that you DON’T get to see a picture of a naked Bob… here is as close as you will get!