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Cybercrime unit warns of blackmail emails

The Cybercrime arm of the police issued on Friday a warning to internet users of scammers circulating blackmail messages via email.

The messages contain a password that appears similar to the user’s, threatening that they have obtained access to their accounts and should they fail to make a payment in cryptocurrency they will make public the user’s online activity on porn websites.

In one email, the scammers requested to wire into an e-wallet the amount of $1900 in bitcoin.

The police advise recipients of such emails to not pay the requested amount nor to reply to or negotiate with the scammers, but instead delete the email immediately.

Internet users are also advised to take the following measures:

  1. When they are asked to wire funds to an account that is different from the one they normally use, they should verify the wiring request with the message’s sender, as sometimes scammers pretend to be someone else.
  2. Change their email password regularly and use a two-step verification technique for access to their email.
  3. Use protection programmes for malware on their laptop and mobile devices and update them regularly.
  4. Do not click on links embedded in emails from unknown contacts as they may redirect to malicious websites or download malicious software.
  5. Regularly check their redirection settings of their email. If a redirection filter to an unknown email address is found to be active then they should delete the setting and contact the police.

The public can contact the Cybercrime unit via the website cyberalert.cy to report an incident.

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