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Extortion Email Scam
You may have received an email telling you that the sender has your password and incriminating videos of you doing unsavory things. They will release these videos to all of your contacts and on social media if you do not deposit $2,000- $3,000 in a Bitcoin account.
THIS IS A SCAM!
Do not click on any links contained in this email or open any attachments.
Do not reply to the email. The scammers are hoping to engage you in a conversation so that they can threaten you, so responding tells them that you are open to talking.
We recommend that you report the email to your email provider as spam, then delete. Change your passwords, even if the password they sent you is not current. Enable 2-factor authentication if your system allows it. If you have concerns about your webcam being activated remotely, cover it when not in use.
Report this or any other scam to CBI through our 24 Hour Hotline at 1-855-443-3489.
As the Nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scammers are upping their game, and taking advantage of the situation to steal your money and your personal information.
Here are some COVID-19 related scams that the experts predict you will see.
REMEMBER: The best way to combat the scammers is with KNOWLEDGE!
Please share these warnings with people you know who might be at risk of falling for one of these scams.
Charity/Giving Scams: Whenever we see any kind of crisis, we also see the rise of fake charities and fake group funding pages. If you are able to donate to a charity at this time—thank you! Please make sure your money is going to help those in need and not to a scammer.
Is it really a charity or a fake? Check out a charity with your local Better Business Bureau or with an online charity checker like http://give.org/ or https://www.charitynavigator.org/ Charity Navigator has a “Hot Topic” link that explains the types of charities that are legitimate and can help. It will pop up once you access the website.
Be aware that anyone can post on a crowd funding page, such as Go Fund Me. Just because the story sounds legitimate, doesn’t mean it is.
Fraudulent websites can pop up at times of crisis. To make sure that you are accessing an actual website, do not access the site from a link sent to you in an email or text. Do a search for the charity, and go directly to that website.
Pleas by phone, email or text can be very convincing. We encourage you to go directly to a well-known charity, rather than respond to calls, emails or text messages.
Charities that care for animals during a crisis are a prime source for scams. There are many false news reports that animals are being killed by over populated shelters, and that the only way to save them is to give money. Animal shelters are working hard to keep their charges safe and happy during this crisis. If you would like to find out how you can help, contact your local shelter to get the truth.
Cures, Prevention & Treatments: As you might guess, there are a lot of fake products out there that you can order online and pay a lot to receive. Each one claims to be the “secret cure”! These scammers play off of fear and a desire to get healthy or stay healthy.
There may be some articles you find online with information about ways to stay healthy and improve your immune response, but these sites will not offer expensive miracle cures, just time tested advice.
Contact your medical professional. If you are tempted to try a product, check in with your health care provider first. Not only could they steer you away from scams, but will also be in the best position to let you know if any ingredients in these products is dangerous to you given your health conditions and medications.
Stimulus Dollars: With the federal government promising money to many Americans to help us make it through, the scammers could see this as their big payday!
Anyone contacting you and saying they can get you your money faster, get you more money, or help you get your money, is a scammer! The government will let us all know how and when those dollars will be distributed. And it will NOT come with a fee. Anyone asking for a fee is a scammer!
You will not be contacted by a government agency asking you for your personal information, such as your social security number, or for your bank account information. These are scams!
Work From Home Scams: This would be a great time for a work from home job, especially if you are one of the many who are temporarily out of a job.
If the job offer seems too good to be true—it is!
Anyone who wants to send you a check and have you cash it and distribute the funds, wire the funds or make purchases with the funds is a scammer!
Check out any business offering home based job opportunities with your local Secretary of State and with the BBB. Do your research before you even consider applying for a position.
You do not have to pay to work from home. Anyone asking you for money upfront is scamming you.
Medical Supplies Scams: Many scammers will post notices that they can get you
coveted medical supplies like face masks and hand sanitizer. Don’t believe it!
These items are in short supply right now. Anyone promising you a secret stash of supplies is scamming you!
Here are some resources for you:
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will keep you posted on the most recent scams on our Facebook page. Please visit us: https://www.facebook.com/CBI.IDTheft/
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has some guidelines to help keep your kids safe during school closures. Here is a message from them. For more information, visit their website: https://www.missingkids.org/
For parents: with many students home because of school closures, we thought it would be helpful to send you some tips and fun activities to do with your kids to make sure they stay safe online.
Watch Into the Cloud episodes with your kids: They are binge-able, age appropriate videos that include activities to help teach children to be safer online. Into the Cloud will help them become more aware of potential risks and more empowered to help prevent victimization by making safer choices online and offline.
Read our blog: There are several good posts about keeping kids safe online.
Follow us on social media: for latest updates on how to protect children.