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ACSC ADVISORY: Sextortion Campaign

person at laptop

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is aware of a sextortion scam email campaign targeting the Australian community. The ACSC, Office of the eSafety Commissioner and Scamwatch have received over 300 reports this week.

This scam email may appear to originate from an individual’s own email address and threatens to release personal and sensitive information unless the scammer is paid money.  The email may also claim to have compromised a computer, router or other electronic device and it can include a password which the recipient has used in the past.

Sextortion is a form of online blackmail where a perpetrator threatens to reveal intimate images of someone online, often to their friends and family, unless they pay a ransom (commonly in untraceable crypto-currency). Typically, the scammers have no compromising information.

While the ACSC has not received any reports of financial loss, the Centre would like to remind Australians to not make payments and cease all contact with the scammers.

What to do if you receive the email

In most cases, if you receive an email there is no reason to be concerned.  These emails are typically generated in their thousands by online scammers using limited personal details that they are able to collect from the internet.

If the email includes a password which you recognise then you should change all accounts which use this password.  Make sure to use a strong password and don’t reuse passwords across different accounts.

If you still have concerns then report them to the Office of the eSafety Commissioner who will provide further advice and support.

Refrain from giving the scammer money and cease all contact.

If you have concerns about your physical safety, call Triple Zero (000) or contact your local police.

Further information on securing your online accounts can be found in the ACSC’s Easy Steps Guide.

To report a cyber security incident to police, visit cyber.gov.au/report.

Date
July 24th, 2019