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The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has issued a public service announcement warning people about online fraudsters, who are attempting to exploit a recent spate of data breaches that have only just come to light.
According to the center, which is part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there has been an upswing in activity from scammers – in relation to these recent revelations.
Individuals receiving these emails are told that if they do not pay a ransom, their personal details will be leaked.
The asking price ranges from between two to five bitcoins, which is approximately $250 to $1,200.
Members of the public have been warned to be vigilant if they receive an extortive email. One example reads:
“We have some bad news and good news for you. First, the bad news, we have prepared a letter to be mailed to the following address that details all of your activities including your profile information, your login activity, and credit card transactions. Now for the good news, You can easily stop this letter from being mailed by sending 2 bitcoins to the following address.”
That there is a range of extortive emails making the rounds, so to speak, suggests that multiple fraudsters are at work. It is assumed that they are working individually from one another.
“The FBI does not condone the payment of extortion demands as the funds will facilitate continued criminal activity, including potential organized crime activity and associated violent crimes,” IC3 stated in its announcement.
Author Narinder Purba, We Live Security