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Well, with the number of data breaches that are seemingly occurring every day, your email address, real name and even your old passwords are not that hard to acquire.
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Remember, too, that if this scammer had half the information he or she claimed to have, he wouldn’t need to extort you at all.
By hacking into your computer, he would have access to your financial information and could have stolen thousands from your online bank account, or charged it to your credit card, long before you'd even notice.
Independent security blogger Brian Krebs and infosec news site Bleeping Computer both heard from readers that they’d received such email messages. A Dutch security researcher examined a few dozen of the Bitcoin addresses referenced in the emails, and found that they had received in excess of $50,000 as of yesterday morning (July 19)."A growing number of my friends are posting on social media or other outlets that they've received this; I'm seeing one or two posts per day right now," Sue Marquette Poremba, a freelance information-security writer, told Tom's Guide.
"Some are laughing it off as ridiculous; others are (wisely) reporting it to their ISP and police."Boilerplate extortion In all cases, the extortion message is the same, except for the username and password, the amount of money demanded and the Bitcoin address to which to send the payment.
Two weeks ago, we reported about this scary extortion email scam that's going around.
It's pretty far-fetched but people are actually getting duped.MORE: What to Do After a Data Breach Evidence of this scam began popping up online a week ago.Researcher Johannes Ulrich received the message himself.Even if you do get a threatening email addressed to your name or with your old password attached, please don't fall for it!Note: To check if your information has been compromised, visit Have I Been Pwned.Right after that, my software gathered all your contacts from your Messenger, Facebook account, and email account.