Based on your report it looks like you may have been affected by a fake sextortion email scam, take a look at the information below for advice on what steps you should take to stay safe.
If you've received an email that claims to have come from a 'hacker' who has access to your computer systems and online accounts you may have received a fake sextortion email scam. These emails can include copies of passwords you've used in the past and might even threaten to share private information, such as your internet browser history, unless you make payment to them in 'Bitcoin.'
What to do if you've been affected
- Don’t respond or send any payments to the scammer.
- If the scammers have quoted a current password of yours in the scam email, immediately change your password on any online accounts that you think may have been breached.
- The website ‘Have I Been Pwned?’ holds a collection of large data breaches. You can visit the site to check if your email address is listed as being affected by any of the breaches included on the site. If your email address is listed, make sure you update your password on any of the affected sites.
- Delete the scam email and mark it as spam so that your email filter removes it from your inbox.
- We strongly recommend setting up different password variations for each online account – this means going forward that even if one account is breached, no other account should be affected. You can find advice about how to choose a more secure password here.
If you've given money or other details to the scammer
- If you have shared any bank account information you should report the incident to your bank immediately.
- If you have sent money using your credit card you can speak to your bank about applying for a charge back. If you have sent money via an online money transfer platform (such as Bitcoin) the transaction is likely untraceable, and you may not be able to get your money back.
- If you have replied to the email with any sensitive personal information, this Identity Theft Checklist is a helpful guide on what could happen with your information. If you believe you may have been exposed to identity theft, we suggest you contact iDCare as they provide free help and support for people in New Zealand.
If it looks like the email has come from your own email address
Some of these emails have been made to look like they have been sent from your own email account. It’s important to understand that this doesn’t necessarily mean the scammer has hacked into your email account. It’s possible for people to fake email ‘sender’ addresses to look like they are coming from someone else. In our experience it’s unlikely the scammer has actually gained access to your account with this type of scam.
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