Sometimes scammers try to hook you with the promise of winning money and prizes. They also do the opposite, using threats and intimidation which can be even more effective.
Scammers send you an email message claiming that they have hacked your computer and they have recorded you visiting pornographic websites. They threaten to release the footage through your social media accounts if you don't pay them bitcoin within a certain amount of time. It is a scam, you should delete the message and ignore it.
Cyber extortion is where a hacker of group of hackers hold a companies data, systems or private information like customer details for ransom until they are paid. These attacks use ransomware which is normally sent out via links in phishing emails to employees. When someone clicks on the link the hackers get access to company systems and infect them with viruses. There are two main types of ransomware; locker and crypto. Locker, as the name suggests, locks the users out of their accounts until a ransom is paid. Crypto ransomware encrypts data on a company's servers and hackers hold a key that they won't release until a ransom is paid.
Sometimes if they have managed to steal sensitive information like customers credit card details they threaten to release them on the internet . This kind of extortion is large scale, payment demands can be in the million of dollars.
Sextortion is a very serious crime where the perpetrator threatens to distribute compromising or explicit images of their victim, normally a child, on the internet unless they comply with their demands. They may have hacked the victims electronic devices and extracted the images or they may have tricked the victim into sending them by pretending to be a similar age and romantically interested in them. It can have a devastating and long lasting effect on child's life. If you receive a message from someone online who has have explicit images of you, you need to tell and adult and contact the authorities immediately. The video below from the FBI explains how victims are targeted.
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