The technology gets smarter, the smarter scammers are becoming and it's becomimg increasingly difficult for Canadians to tell what's legit and what's not these days. Unfortunately, the latest method that scammers are using is easily the most terrifying and could be the one you fall for, thanks to some chilling details the scammers are able to get.
The general gist of the email that has been going around comes from a hacker that is attempting to extort Canadians by forcing them to pay out in Bitcoin in order to keep their "dark secret life" private. The hacker claims that they have gotten into the victim's browser history as well as webcam footage and have video and photo of you as well as what you were watching online. If they don't pay up, the details of what you were watching as well as video footage of you watching it will get sent to people on your contact list.
In the case of the Toronto Star's email, it details to the recipient that "you are not my only victim, I usually lock computers and ask for a ransom. But I was struck by the sites of intimate content that you often visit. I am in shock of your fantasies! I've never seen anything like this!"
While that may seem creepy but not necessarily likely to trigger you contacting your bank to send money over, it's the subject line of these emails that are terrifying victims. This is because the hackers have been able to access either old passwords or passwords that the victims currently use, and put them in the subject line to grab your attention. Another creepy detail is that the email often looks as if its come from your own email address, thanks to spoofing.
At the end of the day, the email is very much a phishing scam and if you do receive it, you should just ignore it. In the case that the password in the subject line is still your login for different accounts online, you'd be better off changing that as well.
If you are wondering how the scammers got your password in the first place, it's a result of all those data breaches and hacks that have happened to platforms you have accounts within the past few years. When those kinds of breaches happen, the attackers can gain your passwords and then mass sell them on the dark web to other hackers looking to extort new victims.
Unfortunately, with companies like Microsoft claiming that phishing is at an all-time high right now, it's clear Canadians need to be more vigilant than ever. With hackers now able to make their emails look like they are coming from trusted sources and are able to legitimize their false story with your old passwords, it's important to always second guess any questionable emails related to money that you receive.
Source: Toronto Star