Scammers Threaten to Expose Users' Online Porn Habits

Wait, did you just get an email from someone claiming to know you're a visitor to porn sites? Or maybe they have some sexy photos of you that they say they'll share with others unless you pay up?

The Better Business Bureau is warning about a new porn blackmail scam that's popping up in inboxes all over the country. It's sexier stuff than the old Internal Revenue Service impersonation scam.

This sextortion scam is building, in part, because scammers have somehow gotten hold of old but legitimate usernames and passwords that you've used at one time. By using real passwords, the fraudsters sound more convincing. Remember, though, con artists are easily able to obtain such information after the long list of data breaches that have taken place over the years.

The classic bait-and-hook method tends to work better if the scammer has a tidbit that makes it seem like he or she really knows you. The grandparents scam works because often they use the name of your grandchild. The IRS impersonation scam often works because sometimes the caller has the last four digits of your Social Security number.

It's all a scare tactic. It doesn't mean these scammers are real. You don't need to pay old tax bills via gift cards. And you certainly don't need to pay ransom money via gift cards, either.

Anyone who threatens you — or threatens to expose personal information about you — and demands money immediately is a scammer. The BBB suggests that consumers also keep webcams covered when not using them to ensure peace of mind.

Source: KGW.com

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