‘Sextorsion’ cyberscams rife under coronavirus lockdown Spain’s police warn

Image of a Salvamento Maritimo emergency rescue vessel. Credit: [email protected]

‘SEXTORSION’ cyberscams have been rife under the start of the State of Alarm lockdown, the Spanish police is warning.

Police cybercrime experts have detected a significant increase in this kind of online extortion since the start of the enforced confinement.

In just four days more than 1,000 people received emails trying to con them out of cash, the police reported.

Sextorsion involves some kind of threat of releasing compromising photos, videos or personal information which the scammers got hold of without the victim’s consent.

In the scam currently doing the rounds the cyber criminals tell the target they claim to know they visited pornographic websites and threaten to tell all the victim’s contacts unless they cough up some $1,500 in bitcoins.

The police said that every day people are contacting their experts via the email [email protected] about incidents of sextorsion attempts, all of which they are looking into.

The police issued a series of recommendations to anyone who does find themselves targeted.

The first thing is not to be alarmed and to not believe the threat is real, police say. They tell people to not hand over any money and to not reply to any of the scammers’ emails or enter into any kind of conversation with them.

What people should do, the police recommend, is to block the emails and the sender.

As a more general rule, the police remind people not to trust any odd looking emails from an unknown sender, not to click on any links in the body of the emails and not to open any attachments.

They also suggest changing email, computer and application passwords regularly.

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Written by

Cathy Elelman

Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.

Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.

Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.

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